In the broadest sense, precision agriculture is the science and technology of managing crop production systems by using data and monitoring to improve agricultural output. In more specific terms, it involves the use of information technologies to increase yields, reduce loss of nutrients from the soil, reduce water usage and pollution, and make pest control more accurate.
What are the environmental benefits of precision agriculture?
The concept of precision agriculture was developed in response to the need for more efficient ways to manage water, soil and fertilizer in crop production systems. Because precision agriculture involves improved planting, watering and harvesting techniques, it can reduce the amount of fertilizer used by up to 30 percent. This can reduce water pollution caused by fertilizer run-off.
Another environmental benefit of precision agriculture is that it increases the efficiency with which nutrients are applied to crops. When the right amount of fertilizer is applied to the right part of a crop field, less runs off into rivers or lakes and has to be treated at wastewater plants. Fertilizer also can go straight into the plant, reducing the pollution caused by nitrogen “fumes” from over-fertilized fields.
What are some of precision agriculture’s economic benefits?
Precision agriculture increases crop yields and reduces costs for farmers by using information technology to reduce the amount of water and fertilizer used per acre. This makes the production of food more efficient and less costly.
The use of data to improve water conservation in crop production systems can reduce the amount of fertilizer used by up to 30 percent. In addition, precision agriculture provides farmers with information that allows them to make more informed decisions about every aspect of their farm operations.
Who are the key players in precision agriculture?
Precision Agriculture is an International Technology Collaboration.
International Technology Collaborations are partnerships with public and private entities, government, academia and NGOs. These collaborations play an important role in the development of technology around the world by supporting multi-national research programs, like precision agriculture.
What are some of the benefits of precision agriculture for individual farmers?
Accurate targeting for fertilization and water management may reduce costs and improve yields. These can be achieved through the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in combination with other technology such as remote sensing, sensors, and mobile communications devices.
How can farmers get involved in precision agriculture?
Precision Agriculture requires a mutual commitment among farmers, technical experts, researchers and policy makers. Farmers’ involvement is needed to develop successful technologies and techniques.
Scientists and researchers need farmers’ input to develop appropriate research strategies. Governments and policy makers need to understand farmers’ needs and identify economic instruments for technology diffusion.
What are some of the solutions in precision agriculture?
One of the first steps is to determine the most appropriate variable for management (fertilizer, water, seed type, etc). That variable is called a parameter. The next step is to find the best way to measure the parameter. This can be done by using a variety of sensors, such as information from satellites.
The third step involves deciding how and when to apply the information about the parameter. This can be done by using information technology and communication tools such as mobile phones and computers.
Finally, farmers need to act on the information they receive in order to optimize or improve their farming practices.