Senwes Scenario Augustus / September 2017 - Page 13

T RA D E N E W S ••• • • • • Vir die volledige Afrikaanse weergawe besoek www.scenario.co.za Basic concepts of PRECISION FARMING IS IT REALLY AS EASY AS “THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF INPUT IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME WITH THE RIGHT IMPLEMENT”? PETRUS VAN STADEN P recision farming is about managing field variations (soil, climate and water) as ac- curately as possible to grow food with higher productivity in a sus- tainable manner, while reducing production costs and environmen- tal impact. Technological development has resulted in an enormous scope of possibilities to achieve the above- mentioned and farm more effec- tively. These technologies include: • Remote sensing technology, • Geo-mapping, • High precision positioning sys- tems, • Automated steering systems, • Smart sensors and a range of IT-applications combined with high-tech engineering, • Integrated electronic communi- cations, • Variable rate technology. Precision farming starts at the crop growth cycle, which consists of 4 basic steps: DATA ANALYSIS & EVALUATION  PRECISION SOIL PREPARATION  PRECISION HARVESTING  PRECISION SEEDING  PRECISION CROP MANAGEMENT [ As this article will focus on dryland precision grain farming, aspects of precision farming with regard to livestock, irrigation and forage are not included ] >CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 SENWES Scenario • AUG/SEP 2017 11