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Precision Agriculture: Important Things You Need to Know

by | Oct 13, 2022 | Industry

We are living in a highly uncertain world with an increasing population, conflict, supply chain disruption, pandemics, climate change, inequality, and many more. And all these global issues are putting strain on food production.

The world has a food problem. It is estimated that by the year 2050 the human population will be nearly 10 billion. Meaning that food production will need to increase to meet demand.

But the problem is not food production itself, it is the way we produce food and its impact on the environment. The world is under the pressure of global warming and the agriculture industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters in the world.

Human activity together with the agriculture sector is spewing a lot of carbon emissions into the atmosphere leading to climate change. The agriculture sector is very energy, water, and land-intensive. And these resources are becoming more and more scarce.

Climate change is putting a lot of pressure on these resources. Arable land is limited and most of them are already cultivated. Moreover, the sector is known for using the world’s freshwater unsustainably.

So with the growing population, the agriculture sector will need to produce 70% more food with less land and fewer resources. Hence to meet this challenge the agricultural industry must evolve. 

To achieve this, the industry is innovating to implement the latest technology while also reducing the use of fuel, irrigation water, and fertilizer per unit of output. Technology that makes agriculture more productive and precise.

Precision agriculture is a branch of agri-business science that uses sensor-enabled machinery and software to control and monitor farming processes. It provides objective data-driven decision support for farmers to maximize yields while minimizing resource inputs.

What is precision agriculture?

Precision agriculture, also known as precision farming, precision AG, or smart farming, is an increasingly popular method of farming used to improve agricultural operations across the world. It focuses on improving crop yield while lowering inputs.

Precision farming is a technique that uses data both from the ground and air to make decisions about the best ways to farm. It is a sustainable food production and environmental protection approach that reduces waste and increases efficiency.

As the name of the technique implies, precision agriculture strives to be very precise in its use of technology to maximize return on investment for growers. It seeks to increase efficiency and optimize farming materials to increase crop yields.

This is often done through remote sensing by using satellite images, field measurements, weather data, and historical information about fields. A precision farm is a type of farmstead that uses advanced technology to improve crop yields.

It is a farm that uses sensors and mapping tools to detect and track changes in the soil, plants, and weather. This information is used to make adjustments to farming practices, often leading to increased yields and better-quality crops.

With the help of latest agricultural technology, farmers use GPS systems and satellite imagery to map their fields and find out where they need more resources such as fertilizer or water for their crops. Technology allows farmers to increase yield while using fewer resources.

Importance of precision agriculture

In 2022, the world is entering dangerous territories, afflicted by a megadrought. The drought is so severe that it is considered the driest period in at least 1,200 years. Reservoir levels are plummeting, and we’ve seen worsening wildfires and devastating floods.

And as the world continues to warm, these extremes are going to continue. It is predicted that by 2030 there will be a 40% shortfall in freshwater resources and half the world’s population will face severe water stress.

The agri-business sector is the one that is the most affected by this situation. Irrigation is by far the biggest water consumer as it takes up 70% of the world’s freshwater. And most of it is used unsustainably and wasted. Water not used by plants is lost through the soil, evaporation, or runoff.

Moreover, throughout human history, food production has always increased, and to satisfy demand, we keep cutting down forests and the lands are plowed to make room for more farms. While exploiting land has enhanced yield, we are now running out of arable space to grow food.

To cultivate crops, large amounts of land are needed. We’ve seen a third of our arable land lost in just 40 years. And some estimation reveals that 11% of the world’s total land area is now used to cultivate crops.

The use of land resources for agricultural purposes has increased due to population growth and urbanization. In 2022 around 7.9 billion people are living on the earth, 55% of which live in cities. By 2050 it is estimated that the world population will reach 10 billion where 80% will be living in cities.

With population growth, food production will have to double by 2050 to meet demand. However, while doubling yield output, agricultural impact on the environment must also be reduced.

Agricultural practices release a significant amount of carbon emissions. It is estimated that industrial farming emissions and pollution cost the environment the equivalent of about USD 3 trillion every year.

The agriculture sector accounts for 11% of the global greenhouse emission. Farming, forestry, and other land use cause 23% of greenhouse gas emissions. And since most people live far from agricultural areas, food transportation emissions account for 19% of food emissions.

Human activity and global warming are putting the agriculture sector under immense pressure. Climate change is disrupting seasonal weather patterns and experts say that global warming should not exceed 1.5 degrees Celcius.

Moreover, urbanization has reduced the number of farmers leading to labor shortages. And therefore production has decreased. As the population grows, there is an increasing demand for food, which drives up costs.

And labor shortages mean that the sector cannot maximize its yields and make a profit. There is also a lack of modernization that result in inefficient use of resources as well as increased operating costs.

These are leading to inflation which creates even more problems such as high food prices, food shortages, and a decrease in purchasing power among people. These challenges have led to higher poverty rates among small-holding farms which have caused concern among government officials.

And to maximize yield output, farmers are relying excessively on chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides. Excessive use of fertilizer is one of the most common problems faced by this sector. There is a huge demand for fertilizers and pesticides which has become a cause for concern.

The increasing amounts of fertilizers and pesticides used are harmful to human health and the environment. The farming industry is facing multiple problems that are threatening its sustainability.

Moreover, it is estimated that each year, between 20 and 40% of global crop yields are lost due to pests and disease. Something must be done to remediate these situations. 

The agricultural sector is one of the most important sectors in a country as well as the global economy. The industry accounts for 4% of the global GDP and employs around 884 million people (27% of the global workforce).

The sector is experiencing several problems that could be solved with more modernization and technological development. Modernizing the sector by utilizing technology and other resources can help increase efficiency and decrease production costs.

Hence precision farming can be the solution. It is a process that can help farmers get the most out of their fields by using technology to monitor and manage agricultural production.

Why do we need precision agriculture?

Precision agriculture is a term that describes a set of practices that use geo-referenced data to improve the efficiency and profitability of farming. It is a technique that uses information, technology, and big data to increase efficiency in food production.

It involves collecting data from sensors, GPS, machinery, and the field to make decisions about how many seeds should be planted, where they should be planted, and what type of fertilizer should be used.

Precision agriculture is the art and science of applying targeted inputs (ex: seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, water, etc…) to increase production while reducing waste. The ability to target inputs precisely allows for increased yields at a given size of the field or farm.

This approach is based on the best possible use of information technologies and Geographic information systems (GIS), plus a blend of machinery and skilled labor to increase crop yields, maintain environmental standards and achieve optimal resource use to reduce costs and improve profit margins.

Precision farming can help farmers reduce costs by making their land more productive while also reducing the environmental impact by reducing the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used on crops.

It is a technology-based approach aimed at improving the efficiency of small farm businesses while reducing their impact on the environment. It allows farmers to closely monitor, accurately predict and yield the highest return from their investments in both land and machinery.

Precision AG is not just about economics. Rather, it helps farmers understand and truly be in tune with nature. It reduces the need for additional land clearing and conserves natural resources like water and soil fertility for future generations.

Precision agriculture approach is used to improve the efficiency of farming. It uses data from satellites, sensors, and GPS devices to help farmers make better decisions about:

  • When and where to plant crops
  • What chemicals to use
  • How much water to apply
  • Inform farmers when crops need more nutrients or fertilizer
  • When to harvest

The technology farm owners to maximize yield per acre by applying just the right amount of inputs, such as fertilizer or water. This reduces waste and cost while increasing productivity.

The use of precision agriculture has been shown to increase crop yields by as much as 15% over traditional methods. This can be attributed to the ability to target areas of the field that need treatment or fertilization, rather than applying them uniformly across large surfaces.

Moreover, by targeting only those areas where nutrients are needed, there is less erosion and runoff into our waterways. In addition, less fertilizer is needed and thus less nitrogen leaches into our groundwater sources.

The use of precise application equipment also reduces the amount of chemicals required because they can be applied only where they are needed. This leads to reductions in chemical costs and a cleaner environment overall.

A study reveals that precision agriculture increases productivity by 6% and has improved fertilizer placement efficiency by an estimated 7% with the potential to improve an additional 14%. It is also revealed that technology reduced the need for an estimated 30 million pounds of herbicide per year in the United States alone.

Chemical applications can be expensive, so precision agriculture helps farmers reduce their use of fertilizers and pesticides by applying them only where needed. This not only saves money but also protects the environment from harmful chemicals entering waterways or polluting our air.

Traditional farming practices use broad-spectrum fertilizers and pesticides that kill many insects and plants indiscriminately. Precision AG seeks to target specific pests and weeds with fewer chemicals at lower doses, reducing their impact on the environment while increasing yields for farmers.

By applying inputs only where they are needed, precision agriculture helps prevent soil degradation from erosion, salinization, and compaction. And when water is precisely applied only where it’s needed, less irrigation is needed overall which helps tackle the water crisis we are facing.

Moreover, irrigation systems can be automated so that they only provide water when it’s needed the most. This reduces wastage while also saving money spent on energy costs associated with pumping water from rivers or lakes.

Precision AG also helps measure soil conditions to determine how much fertilizer or water should be applied to each area of land. This reduces waste by eliminating the over-application of nutrients and water in areas where they aren’t needed.

This technological approach to the agricultural production system improves efficiency and sustainability through increased knowledge of the factors that affect crop yield.

The World Economic Forum estimated that precision agriculture could increase crop yields by 10-15% worldwide by 2030. While greenhouse gas emissions and water usage can be reduced by 10% and 20% respectively.

Hence, applying technology and information to cultivate soil can improve the quality, quantity, and efficiency of produces. This new approach is used to improve the quality and increase the quantity of their yield while reducing the cost of production.

The goal of a precision farm is not only to increase profits but also to make farming easier for farmers by reducing labor costs and increasing productivity through better yields (or higher crop yields per acre).

Moreover, precise weather data allows farmers to monitor changes in rainfall patterns so that they know when it’s time to irrigate again or harvest early due to drought conditions or incoming storms.

Precision agriculture can be applied at any scale from smallholder farms to large commercial operations. It can be used in both arable farming and horticulture. In horticulture, it is used to monitor weather patterns so that growers can predict when they need to water their plants or harvest them.

Objectives of precision agriculture

The primary objective of precision AG is to increase farm productivity by improving the efficiency of production processes. This can be accomplished through increased knowledge about the performance of individual fields or plots and through an improved understanding of the factors that influence crop growth and yield.

Precision agriculture is a broad term used to describe a set of practices and technologies that enables farmers to apply resources more precisely to their fields. As a result, it increases yield, improves efficiency, and reduces waste.

Precision AG also contributes to sustainable food production practices by increasing soil health and reducing damage to natural resources. Its goal is to improve the quality and quantity of crop yields by targeting the application of fertilizer, water, and pesticides.

It also aims at reducing nitrogen runoff from fertilizer applications by using variable rate applications or applying only the amount needed. And targeting areas with pest problems instead of treating entire fields indiscriminately with pesticides prevents killing beneficial insects.

Another objective of precision farming is to improve resource use efficiency by optimizing the timing and amount of inputs used for crop production. This helps conserve valuable resources while still getting high yields.

Major focus of precision agriculture

Precision farming is a form of agriculture that uses advanced technology to increase the efficiency of yield. Its major focuses are to increase:


Precision agriculture is the process of collecting, managing and analyzing data related to the operation of agri-business. It focuses on increasing profitability by reducing waste and wastage through the precise application of inputs such as water and fertilizer.

The term often refers to satellite imagery and GIS data, which are used to identify areas that need attention on an individual field basis. Precision AG takes many forms, but all aim at reducing waste in agricultural production by identifying where resources should be applied and by whom.

Precision agriculture is the practice of using information technology to increase the productivity and profitability of crop farming. It helps farmers increase the efficiency of operations such as harvesting, planting, and pest control to increase output.


Precision agriculture is a farming approach that uses technology to increase yields and reduce waste. It can be used to improve crop production and quality and to reduce input costs, including labor and fuel.

Precision AG focuses on efficiency to potentially reduce costs and improve yields. This is especially true for farmers who are looking to expand their operations, or who are looking for new ways to maximize their crop yield.

The concept is about using technology to monitor the health of crops, track environmental factors like weather and soil conditions, and then adjust farming practices accordingly. This allows for smart decisions about what needs to be done.

Precision agriculture focuses on efficiency by using technology to increase profitability and output. Precision technologies allow farmers to increase crop yields by targeting inputs (water, fertilizer, pesticides) only where needed.

Because the technology allows targeting inputs precisely where needed and improved monitoring of crop health, farmers can use less energy, water, and fertilizer than traditional methods require.

Farm owners also benefit from a more precise application of inputs because they can use digital maps that identify where specific crops are located on their farms.

As a result, farmers can target certain areas with more precision than previously possible when applying pesticides or fertilizers with aerial spraying or other methods that require large amounts of chemicals indiscriminately sprayed over entire fields


Precision agriculture focuses on sustainability by using sensors and analytics that drive farm management decisions based on real-time data. This information helps farmers conserve resources such as water, fuel, and fertilizer while maximizing profits.

The idea is to use technology to increase productivity per acre of land. By using data collected from sensors mounted on machinery and other forms of aerial and orbit technology to make better decisions about planting rates based on soil type, topography, weather conditions, and other factors.

Precision agriculture focuses on sustainability by using fewer resources such as fuel, fertilizer, and water per unit of output produced. This is achieved by targeting inputs only where needed rather than applying them uniformly across an entire field.

For example, applying fertilizer only where plants show signs of needing more nutrients or spraying herbicides only where weeds are present rather than treating entire fields with chemicals indiscriminately.

Future of precision agriculture

As the world becomes increasingly populated and with the pressure of climate change, more food needs to be produced while minimizing agricultural impact and with fewer resources.

Many agri-businesses are turning to precision farming as a way to improve their yields and save resources. Using advanced technology to plan and manage land use is one of the promising solutions to produce more crops with the least amount of inputs.

Precision farming is already being used to improve yields in a variety of crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton. By using this technique, farmers can reduce the amount of water, fertilizer, and herbicides needed to grow crops. This saves resources and helps to protect the environment.

A precision farm also improves the quality of crops being produced. By monitoring the growth and development of plants, it can help farmers identify problems early and correct them.

This can improve the quality of the crops and reduce the amount of time and resources needed to produce them. Precision farming is becoming increasingly important as the world continues to face challenges with food production.

Globally, the market of precision agriculture was estimated at USD 5.49 billion in 2021. A CAGR increase of 14.95% is expected between the forecasted period of 2022 – 2030. Thus the market is projected to reach USD 19.24 billion by 2030.

Technology is evolving very fast thus providing more possibilities for improving yields and reducing inputs are endless. One of the most important advances in precision farming technology is the ability to collect massive amounts of data in real-time.

This data can be used to make informed decisions about how to best manage crops, and improve overall yields. Another important development is the increasing use of drones for precision agriculture.

Drones can be used to survey crops and map out their location and condition, which can help farmers make informed decisions about how to best manage them. Other innovations include autonomous machinery that can harvest twice as fast as humans with more precision.

A more advanced vision is robots and drones that can precisely remove weeds or shoot them with a targeted spritz of pesticide which uses way fewer chemicals than a conventional blanket sprayer. And even better, weeds can be removed with lasers.

And with the help of sensors, cameras, and other tracking devices, farmers can monitor crop growth remotely and receive alerts on their smartphones if there’s a problem, or when it’s the best time to harvest.

Moreover, machine learning will regularly improve the system’s ability to differentiate between varieties of crops and the weeds that threaten them. Precision AG can help reduce crop loss due to poor soil health, insects, and disease. It also helps producers meet changing consumer demand for healthier food products.

And farm owners can create a network that combines data from different farms in a region into one big database to give its members the power of macro-level insights. It allows farmers to make more informed decisions about the best timing for planting, fertilizing, and harvesting crops.

During the past few years, there has been rapid growth in research on precision agronomy, especially in the area of remote sensing. Remote sensing is an important tool for understanding how land uses change over time.

The strength of remote sensing lies in its ability to collect data from large areas without physically accessing these places. This makes it possible to study changes at scales that are difficult for other approaches to observe directly.

Remote sensing offers many advantages for studying agricultural fields because it provides information about where crops grow and how they respond to weather conditions such as temperature or precipitation levels.

Remote sensing can also be used to track changes in soil moisture levels, which enables farmers to manage their crops more efficiently by applying water more accurately according to soil moisture levels in each field.

Final words

Over the next two decades, a technological wave will revolutionize the efficiency of farms all over the world. To achieve this kind of revolution, we must seize the opportunity provided by precision agriculture technology to increase the efficiency of farming operations.

This sustainable efficient agricultural management system base on advanced technologies enables farmers to make better decisions by collecting and analyzing agronomic data and implementing management practices based on these data.

Precision agriculture enables farmers to farm more sustainably by reducing pesticide use, conserving natural resources (including water), enhancing wildlife habitat, and improving overall farm economics through reductions in production costs while increasing crop yields, and reducing risk.

Technology offers many benefits, including greater control of inputs, increased yield potential, and more precision in crop management. Through its system of GPS assessment, field sensing data, and guidance tools, precision AG allows growers to increase their environmental and production efforts for optimum yields.

Precision agriculture is definitely the way of the future, and the industry is already seeing the impacts that it has on crop production and yield. As time goes on, data collection will continue to get more accurate, which will have a widespread impact on the industry.