The agricultural industry has undergone major changes in recent years. Thanks to technological progress, farmers now have access to technologies that were once impossible. The introduction of modern technologies has had a significant impact on harvest quality and quantity. For example, now you can see drones which help to map crops and apply fertilizers in places where conventional machinery cannot reach. The issue of development is always relevant, so this is what we will discuss below.
The latest approaches to farm management form the core of the innovation process. Innovative technological products include devices for spectral analysis of soil and crops, various sensors, IT technologies for precision farming, robots and digital communication. In addition, geolocation technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems are used. Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), automatic control of equipment (autopilot in a tractor). The list is endless. Why are innovations so necessary in the modern world?
There are many systems that make it possible to improve life in one or another area of technology, including:
- Quality control of agrotechnical operations with soil (tillage). This stage includes the passage of equipment and units without overlaps using the autopilot, control of the depth and speed of the operations performed.
- Control over resources application. Includes the consumption of basic fertilizers with the calculation of the application rate per hectare in a specific geolocation area and for the area in general.
- Sowing control. It includes parameters of the quality of the sowing campaign, namely: singulation, distance between seeds in a row, sowing depth, the amount of seeds sown and fertilizers used in a certain geopositioning area and in total area.
- Determining crop condition (vegetation stage, crop condition, lack of nutrients, presence of diseases and pests).
- Seeding monitoring and yield forecasting. This includes the usage of GIS, looking at plants through satellite monitoring using indices (e.g. NDVI-normalized differential vegetation index), using UAVs (aerial photography), weather monitoring).
- Harvesting. This includes the installation of automatic row guidance systems (autopilot) on combines to ensure direct harvesting without gaps with the transmission of yield information at a particular geo-positioning point and from the area in general.
- Agrochemical analysis. This includes sampling scheme development and the recording of agrochemical analysis data for sampling points and the creation of thematic maps according to the nutrient.
- Soil hardness. This includes the development of soil hardness test scheme and the creation of thematic maps regarding the penetration depth.
It should be noted that there are many systems that need to be constantly monitored, combined, analyzed and improved, as they will allow you to quickly solve existing and newly created problems.
Today, it is impossible to simply plant more fields with grain or increase the area of pastures. That’s why the question of maximum intensification of agriculture, following the principle of “doing more using less,” is of paramount importance. In other words, the challenge is to compensate for the lack of natural resources with the capabilities of human intelligence.
This problem can be solved by “Crop scouting”, which is the process of collecting information (in the form of specified parameters). It includes:
- quality control of the work performed (tillage, irrigation, harvesting, etc.);
- determining crops condition (vegetation stage, crop condition, lack of nutrients, presence of diseases and pests);
- development of technical specifications for field processing.
This is a new area of professional activity in the agricultural sector. For better work of data specialists, they need to be provided with a platform where all the information related to each field will be stored. This will allow him to quickly take measurements, accumulate and process information and the necessary equipment to make these measurements (the parameters of the equipment will include what exactly the scout will do).
It should be noted that before starting a field survey, it is necessary to know more about the site (number of hectares, crop rotation, history of mineral and organic fertilizers, tillage, soil analysis, yield, etc.)
The purpose of scouting is to collect information on the field work quality and analyze the current state of the fields.
To provide plants with all the necessary nutrients for all stages of organogenesis, high yields and quality products, monitoring of plant nutrient deficiencies in the field is used.
All information collected through agroscouting:
- Helps to detect deviations (notifies in an emergency about detected deviations and violations of production technology).
- Reporting (collects and systematizes data on the development of each crop in all fields, creates reports).
- Analyzes (based on objective data, identifies the causes of violations and makes recommendations for their correction).
Monitoring of battery deficiencies.
Agriculture is quite risky. It is influenced by environmental factors and human (anthropogenic) factors.
The problem that farmers may face today is that the soils for growing crops are completely neglected. Some farmland consists mainly of soils with a deficit of natural components of more than 75%.
Nutrient deficiencies are the main cause of stunted plant growth, which often leads to complete crop loss. Nevertheless, the lack of micro-, meso- or macronutrients can be diagnosed visually, and timely identification will help to preserve the crop.
What are the visual symptoms of nutrient deficiency in plants? They are expressed in certain defects, discoloration, dots on the leaves, wrinkles, and even necrosis.
Nutrient deficiency in plants is a limited access to vital chemical nutrients, which causes abnormalities in crop development. This is because vegetation requires certain elements at different phenological stages of the crop in certain amounts. For the proper development of vegetation, the elements and their volumes must be properly balanced.
In the next part of the article, we will look at what nutrients crops need; how nutrients affect the crop and how to identify deficiencies in the plant. And finally, we will consider the factors that influence the application of pesticides.