A computational method for estimating off-target application areas based on the machine-controlled section width and the field shape was developed and implemented in software with a graphical user interface written in the MatLab environment. The program, which is called the Field Coverage Analysis Tool (FieldCAT), includes three modules: data import, data preparation, and coverage analysis. Nine field boundaries were evaluated to test the software using controlled section widths from 0.5 to 27 m and various swath orientations. The estimated off-target application area from the widest section width varied from 9% to 24% depending on the shape and size of the field boundary and was reduced to less than 1% with the smallest section width. The simulated results were also compared to actual field data from 25 different fields. The FieldCAT software tool was able to provide reliable quantitative estimates of the off-target application of inputs that would occur because of limited resolution of the machine-controlled section width and the path orientation in different field shapes.

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Published in Transactions of the ASABE, v. 54, issue 1, p. 41-49.

© 2011 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

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The information reported in this article (No. 10‐05‐102) is part of a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director.