Benefits of remote sensing in agriculture

Weeds, insects and water problems have been issues for agriculture throughout the world. Specifically in countries like the USA, agricultural practices have suffered huge losses due to these factors. In 1998, cotton crop worth over US$70 million was lost as insects took over huge farm lands.

Usually farmers adopt scouting as a method to recognizing the weeds, insects, etc., but this is a very slow method. Scouting involves a lot of labor and as such it is expensive, after identifying only the traditional methods to solve the problems are applied, which again compounds expenses and efforts.

The adoption of new technology has been slow in agriculture, but this is natural. First of all people should understand what this technology is about, then comes assessing and persuading the benefits that can emerge through adoption, thirdly there is a decision that has to be taken to adopt the technology and implement it, which leads to either accepting it or rejecting it.

This is the process one has to go through and hence new technology in agriculture is slow to take effect. Hence we come to adopting remote sensing and other new technologies at the ground level on farms, such adoption will mean on one hand additional cost for implementation and the other, increased income.

For example, in Montana, the crop study using remote sensing, resulted in a marked increase of protein ingredients in wheat, which was made possible by variable application of inputs on the farm land, which despite the fact has involved in spending more for the proper determination of application of inputs, has brought a manifold rise in revenue.

While looking for benefits of remote sensing, one should also watch out for inaccurate results in the aerial imagery supplied by satellites, or inadequate interpretation of the data obtained from sensors. This can cause a dent in the benefits.

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