Why the industry should prepare for precision agriculture
Precision agriculture is the new frontier of environmentally sustainable development in the sector, experts invited by the Italian national research center CNR said at an Expo Milano 2015 conference on the subject. Drones, satellites, radiometry systems and geo-electric sensors can accurately measure and calculate the needs of plants and help farmers to improve quality and productiveness, they said.
”The agriculture of the future is based on the ambition to do the right thing in the right place and at the right moment, respecting the real needs of the plants,” event coordinator Alessandro Maltese said. While in traditional agriculture the farmer must understand the needs of different crops – water, fertilizer and susceptibility to parasites – on the basis of his or her experience, in precision agriculture the needs of the plants can be calculated in scientific terms and the terrain can be mapped out accordingly.
Technological means can manage different parts of the same terrain on the basis of geo-references, making it possible to tailor every section of the field on the basis of specific requirements. ”This,” CNR experts said, ”means being able to do the right thing at the right time.” Italy has several cutting-edge projects and technologies in the sector.