Precision Agriculture (PA) covers a research area with the goal to optimize agricultural production systems in both time and spatial dimensions. The concept of PA technologies has been proposed as a solution to manage spatial and temporal variability to more efficiently apply agricultural inputs for the purpose of improving crop performance and environmental quality.
In practice, PA changes the way a farmer works:
- Fruit yields are not only harvested but also mapped using a combination of sensors, digital photography techniques and DGPS/GIS.
- Soil sensing systems provide information on the variability in soil productivity status
- Crop sensing technology gives canopy characteristics information.
- Fertilizers are allocated more efficiently by exploiting spatial variations in soil fertility levels according to local demand.
- Spray agrochemicals site-specifically on an as needed basis.
- Use new techniques like variable rate technologies (VRT) including sprayers, spreaders, sensors, controllers, electromagnetic induction (EMI) method, DGPS, GIS, ultrasonic sensor systems, and remote sensing etc.
- Information technology supports decision making in the field based on the information collected via PA technologies.