Efficient Agriculture Systems
Productivity and efficiency are the buzzwords in modern farming. Only those who farm successfully with these principles in mind will survive in a climate of fluctuating markets and uncertain political conditions to create a sustainable foundation for future generations.
Precision farming has raised modern agriculture to a new level. It encompasses a range of systems designed to provide differentiated, targeted management of agricultural land based on the current position in the field.
The aim of precision, or site-specific, farming is to identify differences in soil characteristics and yield potential between areas within a field and to respond by modifying crop management practices accordingly.
The precision farming cycle
The precision farming cycle starts by identifying variability. The fertiliser application and drilling rate can then be adjusted and regulated on the basis of this information. Yield mapping allows effective monitoring of the success of site-specific management systems. Soil maps also make site-specific tillage (working depth adjustment) a reality.
All these systems are supported by processes such as soil mapping, soil sampling and yield potential mapping.
This increases yields and saves on inputs while also protecting the environment and conserving scarce resources.
A comprehensive approach
Every farmer aims to achieve maximum yields in a way which makes good economic sense. The naturally occurring conditions in every field must be considered individually and treated accordingly.
The best-established site-specific applications are:
- Basic fertiliser application
- N application
- Crop spraying
A wide range of mapping methods are used, both offline and online.
The soil classification map is often used as the basis for initial data collection. The yield potential is assessed according to the soil type on the basis of the classification. Scores are added to or subtracted from established reference values in order to take account of other terrain-related factors, e.g. slope and climate.
In online methods the measurement data are collected during machine operation and converted into an application rate as part of the same process. They include:
- N application with the CROP SENSOR
- Growth regulator application with the CROP SENSOR
Data from the offline approach can also be used (map overlay).
Offline methods are those where data collection and field treatment take place at different times. The corresponding application maps are based on:
- Yield mapping
- Mapping with a biomass sensor
- Biomass measurement with remote sensing data
- Soil nutrient maps based on soil analysis
- Soil mapping through conductivity measurement