With the onset of technological innovations, the world is witnessing a drastic change in the way farmers perform basic agricultural activities. We all know that modern technological advancements have helped the farmers in saving time and enhancing productivity. Today, information technology has succeeded in working its magic and has developed an excellent farming method of precision farming. Let us learn more about this smart and modern farming method in detail.
What is meant by Precision Farming?
Precision Farming, commonly known as Satellite Farming or Site-specific Crop Management is a new approach of farm management that gathers, maintains and analyzes agriculture-related data with the help of modern technology. It helps farmers make informed decisions for enhancing the utilization of resources and improving farm productivity and provides accurate information relating to the quality and profitability of farm yields.
Why is Precision Farming Important?
- Precision farming assists in providing accurate and authentic information that helps in increasing farm productivity.
- This method reduces the risk of soil degradation, along with a reduction in the use of chemicals in growing crops.
- It helps in optimal usage of natural resources like water.
- It helps farmers make better decisions relating to quality, quantity, and pricing and upgrade their social status.
How is Precision Farming done?
Precision farming is primarily a four-stage process. It uses the GIS (geographic information system) – a device fixed on the agricultural equipment – to deliver optimum results. Let’s learn about the tools in detail:
This method uses the geographical location of the soil. It collects data related to the earth and analyzes it for residual nitrogen and soil resistivity. The correct satellite images scan the ground to deliver accurate information.
The soil is then evaluated based on field variables like climate conditions and soil textures. Weather stations and sensors may provide this information that helps in analyzing moisture content in the soil.
The soil mapping uses a predictive or control approach to help farmers gather information about their crop cycle. A final decision is then arrived at by using decision models and artificial intelligence.
The crop management decisions are implemented using agricultural equipment loaded with technologies like positioning systems, geographic information systems, and variable-rate farming equipment like seeders.
Tools used in Precision Farming
Autonomous tractors equipped with GPS technology perform most of the farm functions like spreading fertilizers and ploughing lands. An excellent example of these would be the autonomous tractors being developed by Kubota Tractors in association with U.S. chipmaker Nvidia. Also, Solar-powered machinery uses lasers to identify and kill unwanted plants. Agriculture robots also assist farmers in enhancing land productivity.
- Agriculture Drones and Satellite Imagery
Drones and satellite imagery systems capture high-quality images. The data collected through these images helps in predicting the current biomass levels of the soil. Light aircraft pilots create yield maps to determine the least and the most fertile surfaces.
- Internet of Things
One of the essential parts of precision farming is IoT. It is a network of tangible things combined electronically. With sensors and farming software, IoT collects the data and places it at one place to analyze it. Scanning the crops for cow urination, moisture content, and irrigated land helps farmers save resources and time.
- Smartphone Applications
Mobile apps are gaining popularity in precision farming with time. Agricultural apps for field mapping, animal tracking, and gathering weather information help collect a large amount of agriculture data using cameras, microphones, GPS, etc.
- Machine Learning
It is a kind of artificial intelligence that helps the drones and the IoT input the collected data. Computers then process the information, and needful actions are taken based on the results. Machine learning allows the technologically advanced devices to deliver the right amount of fertilizers and water in the soil. Without AI, precision farming would be useless.
Precision Farming can help save a lot of unnecessary wastage of resources and time. For more information on the various technological advancements in the agricultural sector, please visit our website.