Practical Applications of Remote Sensing Technology—An Industry Perspective

in HortTechnology

The initial surge of interest in precision agriculture technologies exhibited by innovators and early adopters involved in crop production appears to have crossed over an important threshold. As valuable field experience increases and learning by doing advances, successful applications of management practices are being identified even though few are adequately documented with economic benefits. Access to accurate information pertaining to applications of site-specific management would be expected to motivate more producers to incorporate technology uses with crop production. This next group of producers has been watching technology developments as they preferred to avoid risk and wait for identifiable benefits. Waiting for detailed case studies involving high value fruits and vegetables may be the wrong approach to take. Fierce competition and strict confidentiality are expected in the fresh market industry. Thus, personal experience with technology becomes more relevant to innovative producers than published literature. This is especially true in California where 350 different crops are produced. High resolution imagery from digital aerial and satellite sensors has been used in crop production in California to identify plant stress, direct plant tissue and soil sampling efforts, and provide information for analysis and interpretation of crop growth. Examples of remote sensing imagery that have provided valuable in-season progress reports will be identified. The focus will be on practice, not theory, as seen from an industry perspective.

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