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Precision Agriculture: Technology to Improve Farming in Digital Era (Part 2)

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The evolution of precision agriculture technology

You may have heard of precise agriculture, but do you understand what it entails and how it transforms modern agriculture? Precise agriculture, also known as precision agriculture or precision farming, is an innovative approach to farming that utilizes advanced technology to optimize agricultural production. It collects and analyzes data to make smarter, more efficient, and environmentally friendly decisions in managing crops and livestock.

In the past, farmers had to make decisions about planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops based on their intuition and experience. However, with the advent of precise agriculture, farmers can now make well-informed decisions based on data analysis, leading to better crop yields, reduced environmental impact, and increased profitability.

Precise agriculture is a game-changer for sustainable farming practices, enabling farmers to use resources efficiently while minimizing their environmental impact. By embracing precise agriculture, farmers can contribute to global efforts to combat climate change, reduce the use of harmful chemicals, and promote biodiversity.

 

Continuing the previous blog (Precision Agriculture: Technology to Improve Farming in Digital Era), we now dive into the applications of Precision Agriculture and how it continues to revolutionize the Agriculture Industry.

Applications of Precision Agriculture:

1. Micro Irrigation: Micro-irrigation systems allow growers to effectively plan irrigation by identifying areas with high and low soil moisture. Precision agriculture irrigation makes it possible to carry out variable rate irrigation to vary the water supply volume for different field parts. This level of control can significantly improve irrigation efficiency and result in significant water savings. One of the indexes used in Crop Monitoring is NDMI. The index shows the crop water stress level in the selected field. Growers can now quickly identify areas of the field that need additional watering, regions of flooding, or areas with excessive moisture.

2. Site-Specific Crop Management (SSCM): SCCM relies on observing, measuring, and responding to inter or intra-field crop variability. It is a modern farming technique used to make production more efficient. SCCM is a form of precision agriculture where decisions on resource application and agronomic practices closely match crop requirements as they vary within a farm or field.

SSCM consists of five fundamental components:

    1. Spatial referencing
    2. Measurement and monitoring of crop, soil, and environmental attributes
    3. Attribute mapping
    4. Decision Support System (DDS)
    5. Differential Action

 

In SSCM, growers take large fields and then divide them into small patches so that no misapplication of products occurs. Growers who use SSCM practices use weather data, humidity, soil temperature, growth, and other factors for crop rotation. They also manage the irrigation rates so no salts accumulate on the soil surface.

Some growers employ cutting-edge technology like GPS, computer-controlled tractors, and harvesters. They also use modern practices such as aerial imagery, soil sample collection, soil type, potential yield, and more to divide huge fields into tiny units to reduce waste and boost production. Sensors are also installed throughout the field to detect the slightest changes in the plant or soil. Upon noticing these changes, sensors relay the information to the centers. Centers collect data from farms and fields, process it in real time, and assist growers in making decisions about planting, fertilizing, watering, and harvesting. The sensors detect changes, and the irrigation system operates to deliver the exact amount of water required to the location where it is needed. Growers can increase production while simultaneously conserving soil by using SSCM methods. It ensures food security by enabling us to produce larger yields from the same field.

3. Soil Mapping in Precision Agriculture: Precision Agriculture is only possible with quality ground mapping. With its help, growers evaluate the soil properties, its chemical composition, the presence of the nutrient, and more. Soil mapping practice has existed for a long time, but modern technologies provide even more detailed information, making the new generation of digital maps more efficient.

For obtaining data, growers use several types of precision agriculture sensors:

    1. Optical sensors that interpret data based on the coefficient of light reflection from the ground
    2. Electrochemical sensors that analyze the soil’s electrical characteristics, such as the potassium’s presence
    3. Mechanical sensors in contact with the earth determine the types and density of the elements contained in it.

 

4. Internet of Things (IoT) in Precision Agriculture: The Internet of Things is considered a paradigm shift in the advancement of the smart agriculture field that has enabled the development of smart wearables and connected devices, as well as automated machines and driverless vehicles on fields. IoT has enormous potential in the agriculture industry. Sensors on equipment and materials enable the Internet of Things to simplify and streamline agricultural resource collection, inspection, and distribution.

When combined with image recognition technology, field sensors allow growers to monitor their crops from any location. Real-time information is sent to growers by these sensors, allowing them to make crop adjustments accordingly. This system has given growers more control over the field, with dedicated data sensors, remote control, and an IoT platform. With IoT-based precision agriculture, growers can control all the critical information: from air temperature to soil conditions. As a result, growers benefit from IoT sensors deployed in the field, which results in higher food production with less waste-which is the need of every industry today. Moreover, technology solves the problem of manually researching large farms and fields by collecting data independently.

The introduction of robotics in agriculture is the shifting norm. Agricultural robotics helps improve productivity, resulting in higher and faster yields. Spraying and weeding robots are helping reduce agrochemical use. Experimentation with laser and camera guidance for weed identification and removal without human intervention has also begun. These robots can use this information as guidance to move between rows of crops independently, so fewer people are needed behind the wheel.

5. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI in precision agriculture has redefined farming. It has introduced new intelligent tools for managing agricultural production. AI has been utilized in predictive analytics, allowing growers to make better decisions. The essential concept of AI in agriculture is flexibility, rapid performance, accuracy, and cost viability. Artificial intelligence in agriculture assists growers in utilizing their farming talents, leading to increased returns and improved quality with fewer expenses. AI-based wireless sensor technology enhances efficiency in all sectors and addresses industry-wide challenges in agriculture, such as crop harvesting, irrigation, and soil content sensitivity. On farms, AI technology provides plant disease, pest, and malnutrition, and AI sensors that monitor and regulate agricultural aspects.

With intelligent AI tools, a large amount of data is collected from fields, followed by AI algorithms that enable the extraction of knowledgeable and fruitful data insights from the flood of data. With the help of AI and machine learning, it is now feasible to detect pest and disease infestations, estimate crop output and yield, and forecast prices. They can guide growers on future price patterns, demand levels, type of crop to sow for maximum benefit, pesticide usage, and more. In closing, AI solves the scarcity of resources and labor to a large extent and helps organizations cope with the increasing amount of complexity in precision and modern agriculture.

Wrapping up:

In conclusion, Precision Farming Technology is showing more promise for growers as it helps mitigate environmental damage, increases crop yield and profitability for the grower, and has the potential to help feed the growing population by using efficient farming practices.

What’s Next?

Tavant’s goal is to help enhance productivity and efficiency while lowering the environmental effect of food production. Tavant’s solutions, which include farm management, precision agriculture, and predictive/real-time analytics, encompass the entire agricultural ecosystem. With these solutions, you can predict and measure farm revenue, integrate with agricultural equipment, analyze yield potential, and much more.

Visit us here or reach out to us at [email protected].

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