Arnoud van den Heuvel
November 29th 2008

unmanned aerial vehicle

This summer researchers from technology firm QinetiQ and from Aberystwyth University flew an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over fields in England and Wales to map the nitrogen levels in soil, to determine whether fertiliser applications were needed.

The data collected was then used to create a (NDVI) map, which tells you the difference between 'green crops' that are photosynthesising and bare ground.  Where there is bare ground, more fertilizer may be needed.

precision farming

The ecological impact of this technique is potentially huge. Imagine only watering crops that need to be watered (and only when required) instead of flooding the entire field. Imagine as well spraying just those diseased plants with herbicides (and only when there is an outbreak) instead of suffocating acres and acres of fields with poison all the time.

Imagine tractors using GPS and an upload of this data into an onboard machine that automatically regulates the application of fertilizer and pesticides—just the right amount and exactly where the chemicals are needed...

Now that's called Precision farming!
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Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!

1 comment

Posted 30/11/2008 – 17:09

chemicals are not needed at all

What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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