Precision Agriculture using
Benefits of PA
PA vs Traditional Agriculture
PA with GPS
Case study 1
Case study 2
Precision farming (PA) or satellite farming or site specific crop
management (SSCM) is a farming management concept based on
observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability
Spatial and temporal variability of crop variables are at the heart of
Spatial - changes across a field.
Temporal - changes from season to season and from year to year.
Precision agriculture aims to optimize field-level management with
Crop science (e.g. fertilizer inputs);
Environmental protection (e.g. limiting leaching of nitrogen)
Economics (e.g. improved management of fertilizer usage and
Benefits of Precision Agriculture
Increase productivity and net profit;
Provide better decision making ability;
Improve soil productivity;
Improve water quality;
Improve wildlife habitat;
Sustain natural resources for generations to come.
PA vs Traditional Agriculture
The farm field is broken into
“management zones” based on
soil pH, yield rates, pest
infestation, and other factors that
affect crop production.
Management decisions are based
on the requirements of each zone
and PF tools (e.g. GPS/GIS) are
used to control zone inputs.
Traditional farming methods have
used a “whole field” approach
where the field is treated as a
Decisions are based on field
averages and inputs are applied
uniformly across a field in
PA with GPS
Farm uses include:
mapping yields (GPS + combine yield monitor),
variable rate planting (GPS + variable rate planting system),
variable rate lime and fertilizer application (GPS + variable rate
field mapping for records and insurance purposes (GPS + mapping
parallel swathing (GPS + navigation tool).
Thomas et al, (2000) explained about the development of Carrier-
Phase Differential GPS (CPDGPS) for automatic tractor control to
track the target lines in the field for plowing, sowing, fertilizing,
pesticide spraying etc.
Hermann (2001) discussed about the environmental challenge in
Precision Farming with use of information technologies in agriculture.
It is identified that precision farming will likely gain in importance
only when viable additional benefits, such as reduced environmental
burdens and increased flow of information, are recognised and
Maheswari et al, (2008) discussed about the adoption of precision
farming technology and productivity of vegetables in Resource poor
environment and also comparing the results with non-precision
Manuel et al, (2011) discussed about RTK accuracy mapping system
for transplanted plants and could provide substantial savings in agro-
chemicals with associated environmental and economic advantages for
sustainable agricultural production systems.
Rodica et al, (2011) explained the use of GNSS RTK technology in
agriculture which shows the increase in profit. The GPS-GNSS
positioning systems, together with the Geographical Informational
Systems represent the future in all fields of activity, and especially in
that of agriculture. 10
Methodology for PA
Review current data
Obtain additional data
Gather yield data
11Fig 2. General methodology
Case Study 1
Title: Precision Farming Technology, Adoption Decisions and
Productivity of Vegetables in Resource-Poor Environments
Authors: R. Maheswari, K.R. Ashok and M. Prahadeeswaran
Journal: Agricultural Economics Research Review
Objective: The impact of precision farming on resource-poor regions
and underprivileged farmers. Specifically, the study has looked into
productivity, income, employment, and adoption behaviour of
technology in agriculture.
In Tamil Nadu, precision farming was implemented under the Tamil
Nadu Precision Farming Project (TNPFP) in the Dharmapuri and
Krishnagiri districts on about 400 ha of land with a total budget of 720
lakhs for a period of three years.
The data on precision and non-precision farmings were collected
through the interview schedule during the year 2007.
The respondents were selected were 35 adopters and 35 non-adopters
of precision farming in each of tomato and brinjal crops, making the
total sample to be of 140 respondents.
Variable rate application with GPS
Using the field position from a
GPS receiver and a prescription
map of desired rate, the
concentration of input is changed
as the applicator moves through
Fig 4. GPS
The chisel plough technology ensured better
aeration to root zone and effective drainage
during rainy days.
Further it has helped the plants to develop
root system with characteristical uniformity
in pattern, architecture and in adequate
The Chisel plough needs to be operated once
in two years.
Fig 5. chisel plough
Adoption of precision farming leads to about 80 per cent increase in
yield in tomato and 34 per cent in brinjal.
Increase in gross margin has been found 165 per cent and 67 per cent
in tomato and brinjal production.
The net return increases by 39 per cent and 28 per cent in tomato and
brinjal cultivation, respectively.
Lack of finance and credit facilities have been identified as the major
constraints for non-adoption of precision farming.
Case Study 2
Title : Tractor-based Real-time Kinematic-Global Positioning System
(RTK-GPS) guidance system for geospatial mapping of row crop
Authors: Manuel Perez-Ruiz , David C. Slaughter , C. Gliever , Shrini K.
Journal: Biosystems Engineering
• Develop a real-time, transplant geoposition data-logging system.
• Produce geospatial transplant maps.
• Compare the accuracy of the automatically generated transplant
geoposition map with surveyed transplant locations under
standard and challenging conditions.
Materials and Methods
Global positioning system
Data acquisition hardware
Data acquisition software
A single Real-time Kinematic-Global
Positioning System (RTK-GPS) system
mounted on the tractor for Global
Positioning System (GPS) location
mapping of planting events occurring on
the tractor-drawn transplanter.
The mechanical hitch interface
between the tractor and the
transplanter was instrumented
with orientation sensors to
allow computation of the GPS
crop plant location.
Reduce the equipment cost of
Fig 7.Hitch position sensor used to determine the
relative heading between the tractor-implement
Fig 8. Automatically generated crop
After planting, the actual
geospatial location of each
transplant was determined
by RTK-GPS using a
system interfaced to a
Transplant Map, geo-referenced
to the world coordinate system,
showing the estimated plant
locations automatically generated
from the plant wheel sensor data
and the surveyed plant location.
The performance of the hitch
yaw sensor was quite good and
allowed the estimated plant map
accuracy in the curved sections
of the rows to be comparable to
the straight sections of the trial.
Fig 9. True track and straight AB
line for the curved planting path
This study demonstrated the feasibility using the GPS signal from an
RTK-GPS auto guidance system mounted on the tractor in the
automatic mapping of crop plants during planting.
Hitch orientation sensor was developed that allowed for accurate real-
time monitoring of the position of the transplanting sled in relationship
to the tractor.
Thus it is possible to use single RTK-GPS system mounted on tractor
for GPS location mapping of planting , reduce the equipment cost.
Precision agriculture deals with the Spatial and temporal variability of
crop variables using GPS, RS, GIS.
Precision agriculture also started to adopt in developing countries
especially in India but having some constraints due to small scale
GPS-based applications in precision farming are being used for farm
planning, field mapping, soil sampling, tractor guidance, crop scouting,
variable rate applications, and yield mapping.
Therefore with the help of GPS it is easy to get the accurate
information of crop variability in precision farming.
Gabriel Badescu, Rodica Badescu, Ovidiu Ştefan Mircea Ortelecan(2011),
“Using GPS-GNSS global positioning systems in Agriculture”, Advances in
Biomedical Engineering Vols. 1-2.
Hermann Auernhammer(2001), “Precision farming - the environmental
Challenge”, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture ,Vol 30 ,31–43
Manuel Perez-Ruiz , David C. Slaughter , C. Gliever , Shrini K.
Upadhyaya(2012),“Tractor-based Real-time Kinematic-Global Positioning
System (RTK-GPS) guidance system for geospatial mapping of row crop
transplant”, biosystems engineering Vol 111 ,64-71.
Michael O’Connor, Thomas Bell, Gabriel Elkaim, and Dr. Bradford
Parkinson (2000), “Automatic tractor guidance using carrier-phase
differential GPS”, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture Vol 25 ,53–
R. Maheswari, K.R. Ashok and M. Prahadeeswaran(2008), “Precision
Farming Technology, Adoption Decisions and Productivity of Vegetables
in Resource-Poor Environments”, Agricultural Economics Research
Review Vol. 21,415-424.
Pinaki Mondal , Manisha Basu (2009), “Adoption of precision agriculture
technologies in India and in some developing countries: Scope, present
status and strategies”, Progress in Natural Science Vol 19,659–666.