Creating space for biodiversity by planning swath patterns and field marging using accurate geometry

S. de Bruin, S. Heijting, A. Klompe, P. Lerink, M. Vonk, T. van der Wal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic


Potential benefits of field margins or boundary strips include promotion of biodiversity and farm wildlife, maintaining landscape diversity, exploiting pest predators and parasites and enhancing crop pollinator populations. In this paper we propose and demonstrate a method to relocate areas of sub-efficient machine manoeuvring to boundary strips so as to optimise the use of available space. Accordingly, the boundary strips will have variable rather than fixed widths. The method is being tested in co-operation with seven farmers in the Hoeksche Waard within the province of Zuid Holland, The Netherlands. In a preliminary stage of the project, tests were performed to determine the required accuracy of field geometry. The results confirmed that additional data acquisition using accurate measuring devices is required. In response, a local contracting firm equipped a small all-terrain vehicle (quad) with an RTK-GPS receiver and set up a service for field measurement. Protocols were developed for requesting a field measurement and for the measurement procedure itself. Co-ordinate transformation to a metric system and brute force optimization of swath patterns are achieved using an open source geospatial library (osgeo.ogr) and Python scripting. The optimizer basically tests all orientations and relevant intermediate angles of input field boundaries and tries incremental positional shifts until the most efficient swath pattern is found. Inefficient swaths intersecting boundary areas are deleted to create space for field margins. The optimised pattern can be forwarded to an agricultural navigation system. At the time of the conference, the approach will have been tested on several farm fields.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 7th EFITA Conference, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 6 - 8 July, 2009
EditorsA.K. Bregt, S. Wolfert, J.E. Wien, C. Lokhorst
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event7th EFITA Conference -
Duration: 6 Jul 20098 Jul 2009


Conference7th EFITA Conference


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