The term precision agriculture was coined by Jack Skinner in 1974, when he developed the first universal computer driven guidance system for a tractor-drawn sprayer. This system accurately controlled the application of fertilizer to the X:Y grid of a checkerboard field and further refined distribution by applying localized rates of chemicals at specific locations on each row. Some people mistakenly think that precision agriculture is limited to monitoring equipment but in fact it’s much more.
Precision farming was developed in the 1980s and 1990
Has rapidly grown from then. It is a way to maximize production while minimizing risks and costs, as well as increasing efficiency. Traditional farming methods were more general, giving crops an average amount of water, fertilizer, and pesticide. Precision farming uses GPS technology to determine where the resources are needed most, thus cutting down on costs by not wasting resources on areas that don’t need it. This method is also better for the environment because it reduces pesticide use.
Precision farming can take place on a single farm
Precision farming takes place on a single farm, but it’s not limited to just the farm. It can also be used to improve efficiency across multiple farms, which is known as precision agriculture in space. For example, if you’re using aerial imagery and satellite data, you can see all of your neighbors’ operations and use that information to make decisions about your own operation.
In the simplest terms, precision farming boils down to numbers
If a farmer plants 80 seeds per acre, and then places fertilizer at the rate of 120 pounds per acre, that means each seed gets 1.5 pounds of fertilizer. With precision farming, you might place 100 seeds per acre and put 150 pounds of fertilizer per acre—which means each seed gets 1.5 pounds of fertilizer. The difference is, with precision agriculture you can vary both the number of seeds and the amount of fertilizer from one area to another across the field. And you can use this technique for many other variables as well, such as the application rate for pesticides.
The difference between precision farming and conventional farming
The former is an extension of the latter. It’s important to keep in mind that there are several different types of precision agriculture technologies available today. Some are used for soil health, while others are used for crop management.
Precision agriculture uses a combination of satellite imagery, drones, sensors, and computer software to deliver information on climate conditions and crop health to farmers in real-time. This information can then be used to make decisions about when and how much fertilizer should be applied to crops based on their needs. For example, if you have a field of corn that is suffering from nitrogen deficiency or too much heat stress, you can make adjustments accordingly with precision agriculture tools so that your yield does not suffer as a result.
Conventional farming methods rely on an outdated system where farmers use their own judgment about what nutrients their crops need based on experience alone. While this method has worked well for decades, it doesn’t take into account environmental factors like weather conditions or soil quality which can determine whether a particular crop will be successful.
Farmers use a variety of tools
Sensors are devices that measure physical properties such as temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide levels, light intensity and soil moisture. Sensors allow farmers to monitor their farms remotely and make changes to their operations if necessary.
Software is the brain behind the operation. It collects data from sensors and analyzes it in order to make predictions about when to plant or harvest crops, where to apply fertilizer or herbicide and so on. Farmers use this information to make decisions that improve their yields while minimizing waste.
Data visualization tools allow farmers to visualize the data collected by software in order to understand how their operations are performing compared with previous years and with other farmers using similar technologies.
Precision agriculture is often confused with other terms such as “sustainable agriculture,” “organic farming” and “green farming.” These terms all refer to farming practices that can help improve yields without harming the environment or food quality.
Sensors can be attached to farm equipment or installed on the ground
Farmers have been using sensors and other tools to collect this information for decades, but precision agriculture takes things a step further by using computers and GPS-guided tractors to help farmers make better decisions about where to place fertilizer and seed, as well as when to water or harvest.
Software allows farmers to collect data from different sources and synthesize it
Precision agriculture is a farming management concept that uses information technology (IT) to ensure that crops and soil receive exactly what they need for optimum health and productivity. It relies on new technology, such as GPS, remote sensing, and computer information systems, to make sure that crop inputs—such as water, fertilizer, and pesticides—are used only when they are needed. Precision agriculture reduces waste, saves time, and helps farmers earn more money by increasing yields and decreasing inputs.
Here are five advantages of precision farming:
(1) Increased yield (2) Reduced effort (3) Less input costs (4) Less environmental impact (5) Improved overall productivity
Precision agriculture is here, but it’s still evolving
Precision farming is all about collecting data, analyzing it, and using it to make better farming decisions. There are all kinds of information that can be gathered that can help a farmer make better agricultural choices. Farmers can collect data on soil conditions, moisture levels, fertilizer needs and applications, irrigation, seed spacing, crop yields, weather conditions and more. Software allows farmers to collect data from different sources and synthesize it into one comprehensive report that looks at the entire field or region (depending on how it’s set up). The idea behind precision agriculture is to use technology and science to provide the best possible growing conditions for crops.