What is precision farming and what are its advantages?

“Precision farming, also known as modern farming or site-specific farming or digital farming.

Precision farming and its advantage.
Image source- Unsplash

What is precision farming?

As the name indicates itself precision means precise use of inputs. Precision farming refers to the precise application of agricultural inputs with respect to soil, weather and crop needs to increase productivity, improve quality, and enhance profitability in agriculture.

It is a form of farming in which site-specific management practices are adopted paying due consideration to the spatial variability of land to maximize crop production and reduce cost of production with least environmental damage.

Precision farming and its advantage.
Image source- Alamy

Importance or advantages of Precision farming.

  • To increase agricultural productivity.
  • It usually prevents soil degradation.
  • Reduction of chemical application in crop production.
  • Efficient use of water resources.
  • Precision farming is changing the socio-economic status of farmers.
  • Dissemination of modern farm practices to improve quality, quantity, and reduced cost of production.

Precision farming also increases opportunities for skilled employment in the agriculture sector and provides new tools for evaluating multifunctional aspects including non-market functions. It has an essential role in the monitoring of greenhouse conditions in agricultural fields.

Farmers can use forecast and mitigate problems like water stress, nutrient deficiency and pests/ diseases.

Technologies involved in Precision farming.

Precision farming and its advantage.
Image source- Nitie

1.Global Positioning system (GPS)-

GPS technology is an integral part of Precision farming. It is a system of Earth’s satellites which can provide precise location on Earth’s surface.

 In Precision farming, GPS based applications are used for soil sampling, yield mapping, farm planning, tractor guidance, field mapping, crop scouting, variable rate applications. It allows farmers to navigate accurately the specific locations of the field, year after year to gather samples of soil and to monitor crop conditions.

Precision farming.
Image source- Farm management

2.Differential global positioning system (DGPS)-

DGPS is an enhancement to GPS that uses a network of fixed ground-based reference stations to broadcast the difference between the positions indicated by the sensors.

3.Geographic information system (GIS)-

GIS is associated with basic terms, geography, and information system. It is a software system having capability of Input, storage, manipulation/ analysis, and display/ output of geographic unit.

Geographic Information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, analyzing, managing, and displaying all forms of information which are geographically referred.

Functions of GIS in Precision Farming-

  • Data Capture- There are various methods through which data can be entered in GIS. For example- Global positioning system (GPS), Aerial photography, digitizing, scanning, through all this GIS user could gather data.
  • Data Storage- Some data is stored in the form of maps while digital data can be stored as soft copy.
  • Data Manipulation- The digital data which is stored can be edited, or changed because of this new thing can be added, edited or deleted in the available data.
  • For Query and Analysis- GIS is widely used for decision making process.
  • Visualization- It is an ability to represent the data, maps, or information present.
Precision farming.

4.Remote sensing-

In Precision farming, remote sensing provides the technologies and tools to evaluate data which is necessary for improving farm practices and increasing crop production.

Applications of Remote sensing in Precision farming-

  • Crop monitoring and yield.
  • Weed management.
  • Disease management.
  • Controlling soil moisture.
  • Nutrient management.
  • Evapotranspiration.
  • Water stress.
  • For Irrigation
Precision farming.
Image by Grainews

5.Variable rate applicator-

It is a combination of three components including-

  • Control computer
  • Locator
  • Actuator

       First, the application map is loaded in the computer mounted on a variable rate applicator. Then the computer uses GPS receiver and application map to direct a product delivery controller that changes the kind or amount of product based on application map.

Precision farming
Image by Farm management

6.Combine Harvesters with yield monitors-

These monitors are mounted on a combine harvester, and it measure in real-time the amount of grain which passes through the combine when the crop is being harvested.

Precision farming
Image source- Dragon

 Limitations or Challenges in Precision farming-

  • High capital is needed.
  • Precision farming techniques are still under development and require expert advice before implementation.
  • Time taking process and techniques are involved.
  • Extremely difficult task particularly the collection and analysis of data.
  • Its adoption is yet in the nascent stage due to its unique pattern of land holdings, poor infrastructure, lack of farmers inclination to take the risk, social and economic conditions and demographic conditions.
  • The small size of landholdings in most of the Indian agriculture limits economic gains from currently available precision farming technologies.

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Sakshi Raj
Sakshi Raj

This is Sakshi, I am very fond of reading novels and articles. I usually spend a lot of time writing articles and doing lots of research before posting anything. Happy Reading...

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