Geospatial data improves the performance of agriculture
CAPIGI 2018 focusses on Performance Agriculture: a new paradigm in farming where economic benefits are matched by environmental and climate benefits.
The focus in agriculture is shifting: Until recently,
innovations were primarily favoured on their economic benefit. But a new trend
is emerging. Farmers, consumers, retail and other stakeholders in the food
production are desiring clean and green production technologies with lower
footprints and positive contributions to climate mitigation. The way forward is
by introducing new technologies and practices that take better care of the
heterogeneity within and between fields. The fast growing digitisation in the
farm’s office and in the machinery creates fertile ground for geospatial
technologies such as GNSS based machine guidance, site-specific treatments and
variable rate application of fertilizer and other inputs based on dedicated
prescription maps. These prescription or task maps are often based on soil
scans or crop scans made by satellites or drones.
The really interesting point
of these geospatial technologies is that they are a win-win: The efficiency
gain results in lower costs and lower environmental impact: magnitudes of
10-30% environmental gains on soil quality, crop protection agent or fertilizer
spills and greenhouse gas emissions are reported in different experiments and
living labs. Read for instance this interesting recent article
contribution of precision agriculture technologies to improve the climate
performance of farming.