- M K Swan, emeritus, Washington State University, CHOICE Reviews September 2014
Precision Agriculture for Sustainability and Environmental Protectionby Margaret Oliver
Precision agriculture (PA) involves the application of technologies and agronomic principles to manage spatial and temporal variation associated with all aspects of agricultural production in order to improve crop performance and environmental quality. The focus of this book is to introduce a non-specialist audience to the the role of PA in food security,… See more details below
Precision agriculture (PA) involves the application of technologies and agronomic principles to manage spatial and temporal variation associated with all aspects of agricultural production in order to improve crop performance and environmental quality. The focus of this book is to introduce a non-specialist audience to the the role of PA in food security, environmental protection, and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as its economic benefits.
The technologies covered include yield monitors and remote sensing, and the key agronomic principles addressed are the optimal delivery of fertilizers, water and pesticides to crops only when and where these are required. As a result, it is shown that both food production and resource efficiency can be maximized, without waste or damage to the environment, such as can occur from excessive fertilizer or pesticide applications. The authors of necessity describe some technicalities about PA, but the overall aim is to introduce readers who are unfamiliar with PA to this very broad subject and to demonstrate the potential impact of PA on the environment and economy.
The book shows how farmers can place sustainability of the environment at the centre of their operations and that this is improved with the application of PA. The range of topics described includes sampling and mapping, weed and pest control, proximal and remote sensing, spatio-temporal analysis for improving management, management zones and water management. These are illustrated with case studies on sampling and mapping, biofuels from sugar cane and maize, paddy rice cultivation, and cotton production.
Chapter 3 of this book is available for free in PDF format as Open Access at www.tandfebooks.com. It has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license.
Meet the Author
Margaret Oliver is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Reading, UK, and was for several years editor of the Journal of Precision Agriculture.
Thomas Bishop is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney, Australia.
Ben Marchant is an Environmental Scientist at the British Geological Survey and was previously at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK.
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