Let’s say you are a commercial rice farmer working on a 15,000ha of land at Adani, Enugu state early in the growing season with a limited number of staffs of about 20 persons comprising of 40% engineers and technicians to take care of machine repair and maintenance,60% unskilled labourers’ for miscellaneous chores.
As the manager, you drove to the office this morning, turn on you geographical information system which displays an aerial view of your farm giving you an option to zoom into any part of the farm land within a reasonable length. Also, updated information collected on your field just yesterday by the various sensors and transferred through the global positioning system (GPS) to the base Centre are been displayed on a section of the screen. You punch a button which displays a yield map (YM) of your farm showing the variations in yield across the farm land and where the soil loses nutrients over the season, all this information s collected by a device called ‘the yield monitor’ . Punching another button, a list of information is displayed on your screen showing where there are pest and disease attack and the gravity of the infections. Gathering this information and with the help of a mapping software, you develop an algorithm on how the day’s activities will be carried out. Having uploaded the information on the data base to regulate the application of resources in specific amounts using the variable rate technology (VRT), you ‘hit send’ to transfer the information through the GPS to the field monitoring systems. You sit back and enjoy the ride saving both cost and time as the machines do most of the job in precise formats as have been stipulated by you. Haven achieved all this, then I must say ‘congratulations’, you are among a new generation of growers called ‘precision farmers’.
Precision farming relies upon intensive sensing of environmental conditions and computer processing of...