Precision Agriculture – Making the Modern Farmer


There are greater demand for food and agricultural products. Resources, such as water, energy and land, limit the vitality of a crop production and must be used and managed efficiently by the farmer.

Technology Summary
Article: Foreign Affairs: The Precision Agriculture Revolution

  • Using sensors, farmers can collect data about their fields and use that knowledge to customize how they cultivate each square foot – allowing more efficient management and use of resources.
  • While these sensors are not ready to be distributed or accurate enough, there are several U.S. and European companies that use sensors to detect greeness, generating measurements that can be used to generate a map recommending various amounts of nitrogen.
  • The placement of these sensors are being evaluated right now. Options include mounting sensors to the a tractor or to an aerial drone.
  • There is potential to integrate these sensors with automated water and pesticide distribution systems.


  • Large and small scale farmers, US Department of Agriculture, produce distribution companies/centers, agricultural field workers, large companies who purchase produce

Steps of Deployment

  • Involve agricultural production stakeholders to determine the prominent management issues for crop cultivation and growth
  • Determine a test-bed region to engage with local farmers and determine the best application for these sensors – what kinds of data to collect, how to collect data, and how to translate that data into the farmer’s decision-making process and management
  • Identify opportunities for funding

One thought on “Precision Agriculture – Making the Modern Farmer

  1. Hello,
    Very interesting overview of the potential of technologies applied to the agricultural world.
    I found the plant-color sensors, linking the plant’s shade of green to its needs in nitrogen, very interesting. The link between color or light-based technologies and agriculture is key. While the plant color can give information of the plant’s needs, LEDs of different colors are usually used in vertical farming to control the plant’s growing speed. In this type of indoor agriculture, it would be interesting to connect the plant color sensors described in your article to LEDs ramps color monitoring system to reach a superior level of automation and food production efficiency!


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