[IRTalk] The drone and satellite [together with data] could become as important as the tractor to farmers

Ina Smith Ina at assaf.org.za
Wed Nov 29 20:35:09 SAST 2017


"In order to maximise all of the yield elements, and minimise the costs, a farmer needs to determine what is and isn't working. That means data - lots of it. Soil samples, weather patterns, water run-offs, potential pests and animals that may affect the crop.

The first innovation was to add improved weather data modeling that would allow for more precise watering. Soil modeling would allow profiles to become optimised and uniform.

The next used aerial and satellite imagery to better plan field layouts and access; ensuring the best planting and harvesting runs in the smallest space.

Next came precision planting with machines giving both the optimum planting spacing, but also delivering additional nutrients to parts of a field that needed it. Each season would see just the needed amount of supplement for a given area; not the entire field.
Adding routine drone surveys monitors the crop health, the low flights and modern cameras allow for incredible resolution allowing for pest infestations to be spotted just as they are starting and to identify even small areas that need more fertiliser."

Ina Smith
Project Manager: African Open Science Platform<http://africanopenscience.org.za/>
SciELO Planning Manager
Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
DOAJ Ambassador, Southern Africa Region<https://blog.doaj.org/2016/09/07/the-doaj-ambassadors-biographies/>
LIASA Librarian of the Year 2016<https://loy2016blog.wordpress.com/>

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