Sustainable farming, also known as precision agriculture, allows farmers to develop production by utilizing the smallest volume, fertilizer, and seeds possible. Farmers can begin to comprehend their crops on a micro-scale, conserve resources, and reduce environmental consequences by deploying sensors and mapping land. Remote sensing and mapping are essential tools for modern farmers. By using sensors to capture data about their crops and the ground, they can better understand the growth and health of their plants. This information can help them conserve resources, such as water and fertilizer, and reduce environmental consequences, such as soil erosion. There are various types of sensor agriculture that farmers usually use, so what are the sensors used in agriculture?
Global Positioning System (GPS) allows real-time data collection combined with precise position data, allowing for rapid visualization and interpretation of massive amounts of geographic data. Agricultural management, field mapping, soil sampling, tractor navigation, crop scouting, variable rate applications, and yield mapping use GPS-based precision farming applications. Farmers can use GPS to work in low-visibility circumstances, including rain, dust, fog, and night.
The most critical data on nutrient availability and pH in the soil comes from electrochemical sensors. When samples are taken and delivered to a soil research lab, they are subjected to standardized laboratory processes. Sample preparation and measurements are part of these procedures. An ion-selective electrode is used for some analyses. The activity of specific ions is detected by these electrodes (nitrate, potassium, or hydrogen in case of pH). Although the result may not be as precise as a laboratory test, the increased sampling density may help to improve the overall accuracy of soil nutrients or pH.
Optical sensors use light reflection to characterize soil. These sensors may replicate the human eye and measure near-infrared, mid-infrared, or polarized light reflectance when scanning on the ground. The same idea applies to vehicle-based optical sensors to remote sensing. Currently, some business manufacturers offer remote sensing services that allow for the measurement of bare soil reflectance from a satellite or plane platform. The utilization of essential soil imaging from these platforms is limited by cost, scheduling, clouds, and extensive crop residue cover.
Soil compaction or mechanical resistance is measured using automatic sensors. Compacted soil can generate spontaneously or as a result of the high weight of sensing devices, both of which induce soil degradation and severely impact crop output. The sensor explores the soil by inserting a probe into it and using a pressure sensor and strain gauges to evaluate the resistance force. When a mechanical sensor slashes through the ground, it captures the soil resistance forces caused by the cutting, breaking, and displaying soil. This mechanical resistance is expressed as a pressure unit.
Airflow sensors are used to determine the air permeability of the soil. Measurements were done at specific sites or in real-time while moving. The target value is the pressure to accelerate a preset amount of air into the ground at a specified depth. Various soil features produce unique identification signatures, including compaction, structure, soil type, and moisture content.
Precision farming with agricultural sensors enables farmers to shift from traditional farming techniques toward a data-driven strategy.
Precision farming uses (Internet of Things) IoT based on the statistics gathered from various sensors to enable the farmers to allocate the resources appropriately.
Monitoring stations equipped with advanced sensors can capture climate data and transfer it to a server. So, farmers have actual weather data and can monitor the weather changes situations.
Agriculture sensors can help you save water. It also provides real-time data to assist farmers in reducing their workforce, lowering expenses, and reducing environmental impact.
In conclusion, although remote sensing and mapping are not new concepts, their use has exploded in recent years as farmers have come to understand their benefits. Sensors can provide data about all aspects of a crop's growth, from the condition of the plants to the moisture levels in the soil. This information can help farmers make better decisions about irrigation, fertilization, and other aspects of crop management.