Precision Agriculture, also known as Measured Agriculture, is a technology-based agricultural concept whose approach relies on observation and measurement to generate precise data so that farming activities are more effective and efficient. Precision Agriculture aims to develop a decision support system for agricultural governance to optimize crop yields and facilitate appropriate inputs (such as water, fertilizers, pesticides, and others) by conserving and conserving existing resources.
The history of precision farming is a key component of the third wave of the modern agricultural revolution. The first agricultural revolution was the improvement of mechanized agriculture from 1900 to 1930. Each farmer during this period produced enough food to feed about 26 people. The 1960s spurred the Green Revolution with new methods of genetic modification, resulting in each farmer supporting about 155 people. The world population is expected to reach about 9.6 billion by 2050, and food production will need to effectively double from current levels to fill everyone’s mouth. With new technological advances in the precision farming revolution, any farmer will be able to feed 265 people in the same acreage.
Precision farming, which aims to optimize agricultural governance, also considers the following factors:
1. Science of climate-friendly agriculture (agroclimatology) Detailed consideration of the needs of crops, including fertilizers, and their suitability for the climate.
2. Environment and habitat protection By pro-rata follow-up design (e.g. by troughing and reducing erosion) avoid and reduce carbon footprint
3. Agricultural socio-economic considerations Taking into account enterprise size based on social ecopreneurship norms, efficiency, minimizing inputs, and improving management.
To observe and get the right results and to be able to use them effectively, here are some of the key technologies used in precision farming:
1. Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS)
Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) as land recorders that map the property, property location and location, and property sections/roads. With the information obtained from GPS, we can carry out a complete mapping with measurable variables such as topography, humidity level, etc.
2. Sensor or sensor system
Sensors are devices that can collect and record data. Multiple data are required in precision farming, including environmental data, soil content, solar radiation, wind direction, precipitation rate, soil temperature, moisture content, leaf greenness, calculation of yield estimates, and crop and environmental diagnostic services. Some satellites and drones can be used to estimate yields and biomass, scan fields, and take pictures.
Several sensors are typically used in precision farming, namely:
a. soil and environment
Various factors that can be observed include PH, electrical conductivity (EC), soil moisture content, temperature, humidity, solar radiation, CO2, and other gases.
b. Plant or Plant Recognition
Sensors are used to observe plants and their behavioral conditions. Some of the factors observed were measuring plant growth, fruit development, plant movement, and circadian rhythm.
c. Post-harvest and food quality assessment
With this sensor, we can observe the quality of agricultural products using multiple methods, destructive and non-destructive. Examples of destructive quality results like penetrometer, elasticity, fruit ripeness sensor, etc. While non-destructive application uses image processing, e-nose, and also near-infrared spectroscopy.
Commonly used in precision agriculture, geomapping is a land mapping application tool that uses the collected data to create harvest maps, planting maps, and soil fertility maps.
4. Assisted and automatic steering systems and electronic communication, Variable Rate Technology (VRT)
The processing or information management phase is the phase in which the collected data is processed by various applications such as information systems, management information systems, expert systems, and decision support systems. After going through the data processing phase, the data enters the implementation phase. This technology supports the maximum level of input, processing, and output. After the data has been processed, the next phase is the implementation phase, where there are results that can be directly applied to the country.
Supported with multiple technologies such as
– Assisted and automatic guidance systems or tractor-mounted automatic guidance and guidance systems.
– Variable Rate Technology (VRT) or technological devices that determine precision or measurability in fertilization, irrigation, planting, lighting, nutrition and medicine, and others – and other technologies.
This technology supports the maximum level of input, processing, and output.
Benefits of Precision Farming
Precision farming has many benefits for farmers, including:
– Provision of information to farmers
– Support in the realization of the development of farmers in the field of technology
– Support for decision-making in the farmers’ consultations
– Increase the sale of farm products and the processing of farm products
– Improving industrial relations between farmers and between farmer partners
– Increase in productivity and quality of agricultural production (e.g. protein content in rice)
– Assistance in the planning and application of mandatory plantings. which should help to correctly determine the planting variable based on the data
– Preservation and improvement of the environment
There is hope that precision farming can increase optimal production efforts and meet food needs. In addition, precision agriculture is expected to be high-performing, forward-looking agriculture to create resource-saving, high-efficiency, and sustainable agriculture and reduce environmental impact.