Fact : 37% of the earth is strictly used for agriculture. Still maintaining and improving efficiency in agriculture is one of the most overlooked challenges. As the population continues to grow, a significant part of the world will be dependent more on effective agriculture to output more resources on which the world relies on. The aim is to make farming as sustainable as possible so that inputs can be minimized, the output is maximized, and we should eliminate as much waste as we can. One of the significant ways of achieving this is by leveraging satellite data. You must be wondering how satellites monitoring will help in improving the future of agriculture.
Since agriculture farms are ultimately the fields of crops that are stretched for hectares long, it gets challenging for farmers to get an accurate handle on the overall health of their farm. It could be possible that they are applying too much fertilizer, and it is challenging for them to identify the error. This is one of the cases where satellites are useful. Therefore, satellites have opened up the idea of precision farming for farmers and consumers.
Precision farming is a method which uses a data-driven feedback loop for determining how to optimize the farm to the greatest extent. So, by applying precision farming practices such as observing, analyzing, and reacting to the short-term experiments, farmers can optimize the efficiency of their farm.
The Need of Satellites in Precision Farming
Previously, unmanned aerial aircraft, or UAVs, were seen as taking the lead for bringing precision farming to fruition. Over the past few years, satellites have taken the lead. Satellite monitoring provides large-scale imagery of every inch of the farm, on a regular basis. UAVs were unable to match this value proposition, and satellites are only getting stronger by the day.
Benefits Of Using Satellites Monitoring for Agriculture Farms
The advantages of using satellites for agriculture farms are:
Targeting Scouting Efforts
When the farmers receive images analyzed by a satellite on a regular basis, they are able to detect the problem areas and optimize the scouting efforts in a much more targeted manner. The most popular remote sensing method for identifying the problematic regions is known as NDVI. This helps in detecting the plant vigour that characterizes the health and strength of the plant.
Optimize the Use of Nitrogen on the Basis of Variable Rate Application
On the basis of biomass assessment during the multiple crop seasons, several satellite monitoring companies provide prescription maps for optimizing the nitrogen application. These VRA prescription maps can be uploaded to the agriculture machinery in order to increase input efficiency and field productivity. However, the reliability and accuracy of the nitrogen detection on various crops still need to be validated because of the biological & environmental complexity.
Optimize the Watering Schedules
Crops need the right amount of water to flourish. If anything extra is applied to them, it is considered as a waste which is potentially harmful to the crops. With satellite monitoring, one can ensure that all the crops are getting the right amount of water.
Identify Field Performance and Benchmark Fields
Farmers are capable of monitoring field performance on a regular basis by using satellite imagery and additional information, such as weather, precipitation, etc. This enables growers to compare the farm fields on a large scale and identify which field is performing below the average so that treatment actions can be implemented.
Run Experiments on a Large Scale
For any farmer, the main goal is to increase their crop yield while minimizing the inputs. Until recently, a farmer could run experiments, but they couldn’t scale and be not suitable for large fields. Now, with the help of satellite monitoring system, these tests can be deployed at a scale across the entire farm.
Therefore, we can say that satellite monitoring helps you to scan and figure out the problem areas so that improvement solutions can be applied to them. This eventually helps in increasing the efficiency of agricultural farms!