Obtaining information on soil characteristics through observing the soil and testing it through sensors deployed in satellites, airplanes and sometimes on the ground has brought a lot of dividends to agriculture. Through these methods it is possible to examine the kind of soil one will be using, whether there is high water content or less water content, the saline content, etc..
This has influenced the agricultural decisions in choosing particular lands, and finding out whether there are any deficiencies in nutrients, excess/less saline content, insects, weeds and pests present inside soil which can damage crops and the spread of such anomalies in various parts of the field.
Once the soil characteristics have been determined it is possible to calculate and deploy the right amount of pesticides and fertilizers, which can in different amounts for the various parts of the field, depending on the results thrown up by the sensors to ensure optimal crop yields. This is known as variable rate of application of inputs and identifying the correct quantity of inputs required remote sensing or even ground sensing is essential. Through this methods, you are likely to save on costs also, so that particular quantity of inputs can be applied.
Farm profitability that one can achieve through remote sensing has been well documented through research articles throughout the world. It may be pointed out due to lack of studies in this area, the potential of variable rate of application of inputs has not been seriously attempted especially in developing countries.
It is very useful to gather the farm profitability information through remote sensing or using sensors on the ground, so that it is possible to arrive at common factors, which will be very useful in agribusiness opportunities, farm management, and other related areas. The first ever attempts to gather information was attempted through aerial photography, way back in 1858, but satellite crop imagery began in the 1960s.