Precision farming is a key component of the third wave of modern agricultural revolutions. It aims to optimise field-level management regarding crop science, environmental protection and economics, by boosting competitiveness through more efficient practices.
In order to have an in-depth assessment of the farming management concept and its applications, we have with us Alexander Roose, DPAM’s CIO Fundamental Equity and portfolio manager of our agri-food thematic strategy.
Firstly, we define the scope of the precision farming concept, how it has been applied in the different areas of agriculture and its evolution over the years. We also focus on several benefits that precision farming has brought to sustainability during the three different stages of this evolution.
The base of this concept is the use of data-based and technology solutions to increase crop labor productivity, minimising crop inputs. Some of the solutions that are used are satellite-based imagery, connecting machinery, cloud software, drones, sensors and artificial intelligence. These technologies aim to obtain data related to soil characteristics, weather or disease protection to translate these data into actionable, real-time agronomic manipulations.
Secondly, we highlight the main drivers or catalysts of adoption: digitisation, an increasing number of consumers eager to eat healthier food and economic actors’ climate-related awareness. It is important to mention the COVID 19 crisis as key catalyst of climate and consumer awareness at different levels.
We also review the main benefits and drawbacks of these technologies and the multiple applications of precision farming across the whole value chain.