Precision Agriculture: Working Better, Not Harder
Precision agriculture is all about increasing productivity and efficiency using precise techniques. Through the integration of smart technologies such as measurement equipment and sensors, farmers are able to make informed, automated decisions that are specific to their site. So, how can farmers use precision techniques, and why?
How Are These Systems Used?
Through a combination of technologies, precision agricultural systems are able to function for the farmer. A basic example would be of a water management system, where moisture sensors are able to alert irrigation systems to when watering is required, based on soil readings. For the system to be automated, it will need IoT (Internet of Things) technology integration.
The Advantages of Precise Production
By producing crops more precisely, farmers are able to make site-specific decisions that could potentially make or break a yield. By gathering information from the fields through real-time monitoring and measurement, misapplication is reduced and efficiency is optimised. The following types of information can be retrieved using precision agriculture:
Site-Specific Solutions – Farmers can determine exactly what the crop needs and when, using moisture sensor technologies and fertiliser inputs.
Environment Risk Reduction – Environmental risks are easy to identify and reduce.
Economic Efficient Practices – Measurement equipment and sensors can be used to implement efficient application practices.
Technology Systems Used For Precision Agriculture
In order to achieve the goal of efficiency and sustainability through precision agriculture, a combination of technology and equipment is used. Examples of these systems include:
- Guidance Systems
- Yield Monitoring
- Variable Rate Technology
- Water Management Systems
- Data Integration
These technologies are available in South Africa from agricultural services and products suppliers, available at your fingertips on the Agrifood SA directory.