Geo Gadgets: Advancing Agriculture
Geospatial technologies are being used in agriculture now and there are several success stories. Greenseeker, with a GPS data logger to it, tries to find solution to rampant use of nitrogen by the farmers that is causing soil degradation and underground w
Technologies are the key for growth of the country and geospatial technologies have come as a boon for agriculture sector. Be it weather monitoring or use of inputs, geo technologies are being widely used and applications based on the geo technologies have been improving the performance of the sector.
Recently at a seminar on Geospatial Technologies organised by FICCI, a publication on ‘Success Stories of Geospatial Technologies in India’ was released. Success stories are eyeopener in real sense. The compilation of success stories is documentation of industry milestone. It reflects the multidimensional usage of geospatial technology in India in various sectors such as Agriculture, Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Transportation and Utilities.
Case Study : Better Nutrient Management
In 2011, a research paper published in an international research journal: Agronomy for Sustainable Development had shown that it was possible to save up to 15 percent nitrogen in standing Rice and Wheat crops in the plains of northern India where the crop systems have most intense nutrition needs and often overdose of nitrogen is encouraged as the farmers compete to outdo each other in getting better crops. It is generally perceived that greener the leaves better would be the harvest. However, the scientists have been claiming that more than that, applying the correct doses at
the time of requirement is the key for better harvest.
In order to understand the correlation of nitrogen application and yield of crop, a very elaborate research was undertaken over a period of three years in the Rice-Wheat cropping system areas of north India. It was a joint effort of scientists working at the Punjab Agricultural University-Ludhiana, Directorate of Wheat Research-Karnal, Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research-Modipuram, RiceWheat consortium - CIMMYT, International Plant Nutrition Research Institute-Pune in association with scientists from the Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University.
It was a very ambitious project that tries to find solution to rampant use of nitrogen by the farmers that is causing soil degradation and underground water pollution.
The study was done using Trimble product Greenseeker that includes an optical hand held sensor and GPS data logger attached to it. It also has software from Trimble that allows receiving data in real time with location accuracy. As per practice, blanket recommendation for N management in Wheat consists of applying 1/3rd to half of the total dose of 120 to 150 kg N/ha as basal at sowing and at crown root initiation stage which coincides with first irrigation event around 21 days after sowing. There are also reports that application of all N as basal at sowing can be efficiently utilized by Wheat. Also because Fertiliser N application to Wheat has to coincide with an irrigation event, experiments on evaluating Green Seeker based N management in wheat was undertaken under the project, keeping in view the fact that Green Seeker can be used to work out fertiliser N applications to wheat at Feekes 5/6 and Feekes 7/8 stages which almost coincide with 2nd and 3rd irrigation events. Secondly moderate doses of N can be applied as prescriptive N management at sowing and at crown root initiation stages when Green Seeker cannot be used.
Two experiments were conducted at Karnal and Ludhiana in the Wheat season. At both Karnal and Ludhiana, grain yield of wheat similar to that produced by applying blanket dose of 120
Geospatial Technologies are considered as one of the most powerful technologies that can effectively serve overall developmental needs of the modern world. Today such applications and tools are available and are being advanced for improved performance of a country towards all major verticals of economy like agriculture
A Didar Singh Secretary General, FICCI