What exactly is precision agriculture and why do we need more of it?

31.01.2018

Many farmers around the world benefit significantly from adopting precision agriculture practices. The main benefits of it involve reduced costs and environmental harm, as well as the ability to produce much healthier crops. Let's dive deeper into these issues and discuss what precision agriculture actually is and how it helps farmers optimize their production processes.

     So what exactly does precision agriculture entail?

Precision agriculture or precision farming is a modern agriculture trend, which allows farmers to fertilize their crops with a much greater accuracy and, in turn, optimize the crops production. The processes of precision farming involve sophisticated technologies, like satellite systems, that analyze the fields and give farmers exact recommendations of how much fertilizers they need to use for the specific plants.

     3 significant benefits of precision farming

1.) Precision Farming Increases Plant Health

Simply put, farmers who use precision agriculture technologies can provide a much better care for their fields at a smallest possible scale. The satellite systems divide fields into smaller units, analyze them individually, and provide farmers with detailed plant health analysis, which helps them understand the varied conditions within their fields. The technology also gives farmers exact recommendations of how to fertilize their crops in a most efficient way. This, in turn, allows them to produce much healthier plants that eventually becomes our food.

      2.) Precision Farming Increases Fertility of Our Soils

Precision agriculture equipment takes great care not only of the plants but also protects our soils, rivers, and lakes. Currently, about 60% of nitrogen fertilizers, which is the most common fertilizer in the world, go to waste. This happens, because without precision agriculture tools farmers spread their fertilizers rather blindly - they do it evenly across the field. This results in the over-fertilization of our soils, which negatively affects its quality and fertility. A significant amount of unused nitrogen also leaches out into our lakes and rivers, causing them a major harm as well.

Precision farming equipment can prevent all these issues by enabling farmers to use just a right amount of nitrogen and stop the over-fertilization of their fields.

      3.)  Precision Farming Is Much Cheaper

Numerous farmers around the world have noticed reduced costs after they have started applying precision agriculture technologies to their crops production.  Up-to-date satellite nitrogen recommendations save up to 40% of the fertilizer usage, which accounts for a major proportion of the farmers' variable costs. For a medium-sized farmer, who works in a field of 250 hectares, precision farming would save around 15 thousand euros per year - the money that can definitely be put to a better use.