Role of Telecommunications in Precision Agriculture

Role of Telecommunications in Precision Agriculture

James M. McKinion (USDA-ARS, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-820-8.ch016
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Precision agriculture has been made possible by the confluence of several technologies: geographic positioning systems, geographic information systems, image analysis software, low-cost microcomputerbased variable rate controller/recorders, and precision tractor guidance systems. While these technologies have made precision agriculture possible, there are still major obstacles which must be overcome to make this new technology accepted and usable. Most growers will not do image processing and development of prescription maps themselves but will rely upon commercial sources. There still remains the challenge of storage and retrieval of multi-megabytes of data files for each field, and this problem will only continue to grow year by year. This chapter will discuss the various wireless technologies which are currently being used on three proof-of-concept farms or areas in Mississippi, the various data/ information intensive precision agriculture applications which use wireless local area networking and Internet access, and the next generation technologies which can immensely propel precision agriculture to widespread use in all of agriculture.

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