Agriculture and technology have always been interconnected, with the agriculture industry of all periods adopting technological advancements of that period. Technology has a direct impact on agricultural productivity, which is why the high rate of technology adoption in agriculture doesn’t come up as surprising.
Precision agriculture is a common term that we hear in the context of the coupling of agriculture and technology.
What Is Precision Agriculture?
Precision agriculture/precision farming is a combination of various practices aiming to increase the accuracy of farming practices and exert better control over the procedures like cultivating crops and raising livestock. Key components of precision agriculture include sensors, guidance, GPS guidance, control systems, automated hardware, telematics, etc.
Important Elements Of Precision Agronomics
The combination of agriculture methodology with technology is termed as precision agronomics, and its important elements are:
GPS Soil Sampling
Testing the soil of a field gives away crucial information like pH level, soil nutrients, moisture content, etc that enable the cultivator to make calculated and profitable decisions. By making use of GPS soil sampling, farmers can analyze the productivity differences in a field and formulate failsafe plans that take the differences into account.
Variable Rate Technology
Any technology that allows farmers to exert proper control over the inputs they apply in a specific location and makes the variable application of inputs possible is called variable rate technology(VRT). Manual approach, map-based, and sensor-based approach are the three ways you can implement variable rate technology that has a computer, software, and differential GPS as its major components.
Remote Sensing Technology
Remote sensing technology has been in use in the agricultural sector since the 1960s and the adoption has increased over the years. Drones and satellites are extensively used in remote sensing applications that prove to be an efficient tool in monitoring resources like water, land, etc. Remote sensing applications precisely determine what the environmental stressors that affect crop production adversely are.
Several computer applications can be used to make filed maps, farm plans, yield maps, and crop scouting, thereby increasing the precision of fertilizer application and cutting down farming costs significantly. The narrow values that are often delivered by these applications render it useless when it comes to large scale farm decisions is the major shortfall of computer-based applications.
Precision agriculture technology is not an innovation of the new millennium. Instead, it has been existent for over 25 years but only recently did its application was extended to a wide range due to the latest technological advancements.