Precision farming as an opportunity for contemporary farms
Precision farming refers to the application of modern technologies and specialist agricultural procedures that involve the appropriate management of spacial and seasonal crop rotation, which is linked to all aspects of agricultural production. It aims at improving the quality and optimizing the output capacity, and is it connected with the use of new IT tools and GPS.
A report about the application of precision farming in contemporary EU farms was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. According to the report, in order to implement the latest Common Agricultural Policy strategy, precision farming is going to play an increasing role in modern agriculture, mainly due to the need to meet the growing demand for food.
The application of new technology in farming
It has been established that before individuals begin to manage their farms using the latest standards, an awareness-raising and information campaign targeted at farmers ought to be conducted on a wide scale. The key objectives are to educate people about the rules of agricultural management, and the guidelines they should follow. Access to technological solutions which make farming easier is also needed.
Farm advisory services and education – challenges for the near future
Agricultural counseling plays a crucial role in the process. Advisory services ought to be closely connected with scientific research, in order to provide farmers with a clear idea of the favorable impact of precision farming on the natural environment, both on the local scale, or the neighboring farms, as well as on the national and global scale.
The task is to adjust the activity to the changeable climate conditions, use precision crops and sowing technology, choose appropriate fertilization and irrigation methods. Adequate equipment and tools also need to be selected, the necessary pesticides ought to be applied, and the best crop collection methods and animal raising methods should be used.
Investment in farm and soil monitoring
Work optimization is of great importance in crop management. This involves not only the use of machinery, but also utilizing detection tools and drawing conclusions from the data collected in this way. Thanks to sensors fitted in agricultural vehicles and drones, it is possible to measure the acreage of the plantation, the differences in altitude, the temperature, soil properties, the irrigation level and the physiological condition of the plants. Data which is so detailed could prove indispensable during the preparation of a detailed plan of managing the farm, and in order to increase the crop performance level and farm profitability.
Technology on small farms
Precision farming has been associated with large, profitable farms, which can afford modern solutions that facilitate agricultural work thanks to their immense size and budgets. However, technological progress is so fast that introducing novelties has been becoming more and more popular and affordable also for the owners of the lesser farms.