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How does precision farming work?


How does precision farming work?

Agricultural methods and practices along with innovative farming technologies have been adopted worldwide to improve crop yield, reduce waste and mitigate risks associated with agricultural uncertainty.

Precision farming

Precision agricultureis modern farming practice which involves observing, measuring and responding to intra and inter-field crop variability. It is also called satellitefarmingwith site specific crop farming management concept that makes production process more efficient. Precision farming is employed to accurately manage field variations, reduces production costs and improves foodyield usingfewer resources. Precision agriculture allows growers and farmers to work with better soil in larger fields and manages them as a group of small fields. Precision farming involves strategic ways of guiding farmers in crop rotation, optimal planting or harvesting times and soil management to improve crop productivity and efficiency while reducing environmentalimpact.
Precision agriculture uses information technology to ensure optimum health and productivity of soil to meet crop requirements.The farmers require technical support and assistance for technology application of precision farming that combines use of sensors, GPS (global positioning systems), robots, mapping tools and data-analytics in agriculturalproduction like site-specific pesticide application, pest scouting, variable-rate irrigation or yield mapping to improve plant growth without increasing labour.The aim of precision farming is to minimize environmentalimpact but maximize economic return by optimizing crop yield and using optimum field-level management practices and advanced crop science technology to match the needs of farmers.

Importance of Precision farming

Use of precision agricultural practices is needed to apply water, nutrients and other agricultural inputs on crops grown in a wide range of soil environments depending on the basis of research on soil types, soil characteristics, soil temperature and humidity, weather patterns, growth factors and other parameters; helping farmers to increase productivity. Crop rotation applied to improve diversity and to monitor harvest time or irrigation rates along with technology, making modern agriculture more efficient. Farmers are able to use global positioning systems, GPS-computer guided tractors and other geo-referenced site-specific practices like electromagnetic soil mapping, soil sample collection, crop yield data collection, aerial imagery, crop or soil colour index maps and drainage level studies; increasing potential yields.Increase in use of geo-referenced data layers helping to subdivide large fields into small management zones,increasing crop production potential and farm efficiency. It also helps to manage time and saves water; reduces waste, environmental dangers and avoids misapplication of products.
Environmental variation in soil, weather, vegetation, water and other factors that determine the growthof healthy crop and higher yield are considered for farmingsuccess and conservation of natural resources. The goal of precision farming is to reduce potential environmental risks and improved agricultural yield which could be achieved by monitoring physicochemical parameters of soil and plant through sensors; continuous monitoring and real time data collection of parameters by application of sensing devices in fields providing updated status to maintain optimal conditions for plant growth; and using integrated farm management techniques to improve productivity. This helps in saving time and cost; managing decisions by keeping farm records and reduces environmental pollution.

Online Course at JLI

James Lind Institute (JLI) will soon be launching Agriculture related courses to understand on modern agricultural practices.
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