Agriculture

The use of EGNOS and Galileo satellite navigation systems can help farmers become more efficient, reduce their use of chemicals, and increase crop yields. By increasing the accuracy, availability, reliability and continuity of satellite signals, EGNOS and Galileo will remove some of the barriers to the adoption of precision agriculture.

                

The improved accuracy of EGNOS can also be used by farmers for what is called Variable Rate Application (VRA), a practice used in precision farming. VRA requires the use of GNSS sensors, aerial images, and other information management tools for determining optimum herbicide doses, fertiliser requirements and other inputs to help farmers save money, reduce their impact on the environment and increase crop yields. With VRA farmers adjust their doses in field operations to the observed variability in the field. For example, only sections of a field with weeds are treated with a herbicide.

Applied research in FieldFact (http://www.fieldfact.com/Home/tabid/562/Default.aspx), an FP7 project, has found that EGNOS and Galileo can be used in precision farming for the following applications:

  • Tractor guidance and implement guidance
  • Variable ploughing, seeding and spraying
  • Mechanical weeding
  • Cow fertility detection
  • Virtual fencing
  • Land parcel identification and geo-traceability
  • Post harvest pick-up
  • Supervised tracking of livestock
  • Field measurements
  • Field boundary mapping and updating

It is thus clear that the use of GNSS and in particular Galileo and EGNOS can be very beneficial for a plethora of applications in agriculture.

 

GNSS.asia project is funded by the European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 287244.