Still, farming using conventional agricultural techniques? If yes, you’re living in the world of illusions. Digital technologies in precision agriculture is transforming ways to manage farming.
The Good news is that you don’t need to be an expert to understand how technology is making farming more efficient, save, simple and profitable.
The most common digital technologies from which farmers are getting benefits are:
- Satellite Imagery
- Online data and farming software
- GPS agriculture and GIS software
- Merging datasets
Benefits of digital technologies in farming
Digital technologies are benefiting modern farms a lot. The most common benefits are:
- Reduction in the consumption of fertilizers, nutrients, and water.
- Reduction in the chemical runoff into rivers and groundwater
- Reduction in costs
- Reduction in the negative impacts on ecosystem.
Satellite Driven data
Using satellite data to predict yield and conduct real-time monitoring is challenging. However, its sensors can give imagery and allow the application of numerous spectral indices. Following are some examples of such an applications:
- Canopy Chlorophyll Content Index (CCCI): It allows the uniform application of nutrients in the soil.
- Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI): It help in the detection of the amount of wilting plants and vegetation content. Not only this, but NDVI also helps determine the overall plant health.
- Modified Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (MSAVI): This digital technology intended to reduce the impact on soil background on the earliest stages of plants development.
- Normalized Difference RedEdge (NDRE): It allows the detection of nitrogen in the soil.
Location-based nature of fields allows GIS software to play an important role in precision farming. GIS software helps the farmers in many ways, such as in determining
- the current and future changes in precipitation
- Crop yields
- Plant health and
- Many more
Besides these, farmers can optimize the application of pesticides and fertilizers. Thus, GIS software allows farmers to target only affected areas. As a result, farmers will be able to save time, money, and effort.
Last but not the least, farmers can collect useful information about weather, soil conditions, and vegetation with the help of drones and satellites. As a result, one can make more accurate decisions to get better yield.
Data from Sky-drones
Sky drone is another eye of farmers. Here’re some benefits of Sky drone technology in precision agriculture:
- It can define water saturation, plant height, presence of weeds, and crop biomass.
- It helps in fighting against insects. The main benefit of sky drone technology is that it allows the application of insecticides only in the affected areas. Thus, the probability of chemical poisoning due to direct exposure will be lessened.
- It is much faster and more efficient than scouts and satellites.
Despite all these benefits, sky drone technology has some limitations, such as
- High cost
- Inability to monitor large areas
- The requirement in combination with satellite monitoring in already mapped areas
Online data help in designing the platforms that simplify the field monitoring. One such platform is EOS Crop Monitoring that which the farmer to make accurate decisions at the right time with the help of satellite monitoring.
Some exceptional features of this platform are:
Scouting app that uses digital field maps. A farmer can use this app both on desktop and android. With the help of this app, it is easy to assign multiple tasks to a scout. Once the task is assigned, Scout will get activated and perform diverse functions.
For instance, the scout will monitor the fields, select affected areas, and evaluate and perform pest management activities. Thus, farmers can identify the field problem at right time and can perform preventive measures before it’s too late.
- Ability the to use the NDVI app
It uses NDVI to monitor the overall plant health, it determines the chlorophyll content to estimate the plant’s health. Higher NDVI values indicate higher chlorophyll content and hence better the plant’s health.
- Weather Analytics
If a farmer knows the weather data and plant’s health condition, he can make wise decisions. For example, he can decide when to irrigate the fields to prevent heat and frost damage and increase the yield.
Use of Satellite Imagery
EOS software is based on satellite Imagery which makes it one of the best software.
Here’s the information that could be obtained with satellite Imagery:
- Condition of the entire field
- Condition of the specific targeted area
The farmers can then use the obtained information to
- determine the type of crop that should be planted
- determine the harvesting time
- plan for the next crop season
- determine the nutrient needs of the plants
Sometimes a single dataset is not enough to make a particular decision. In that case, it becomes essential to combine various datasets to get valuable information about your field.
For instance, the EOS user can compare the conditions of his fields with other fields in his district. Currently, this comparison can be done only by using the NDVI index. However, the future could be different and we are dedicated to adding new indices for effective analytical procedures.
Combining data features is also effective in weather analysis. For instance, you will get the following four options:
- Cold stress: it highlights the temperature below -6 C and allows farmers to get ready for early frost damage.
- Winter kills: This feature also notifies about extremely low temperatures that may be dangerous for your crops.
- Heat stress: this features alert the farmers when the temperature is above +30. Thus, it helps farmers assess the damage due to heat stress.
Robust digital technologies are new hope for farmers. They are making farming simple by taking responsibility for farm management. Ultimately, these technologies improve the yield, reduce costs and boost profitability.