Precision agriculture is increasingly a hot topic. The world population is in constant growth [1], which means that global food production also needs to rise to keep pace with the projected rising demand. Although food production has increased by 100% in the last 30 years, it must rise by another 60% by 2050 to reduce the risk of malnutrition. This can only be achieved by improving productivity, as, globally, the cultivated area is slowly contracting [2], drastically reducing the amount of arable land per person. At the same time, agriculture can have serious adverse effects on water and land, biodiversity, and carbon footprint. Currently, agriculture relies heavily on irrigation systems, which will become ever more challenging in the future, as growing urbanization pushes cultivation from temperate zones toward less-favorable climate areas. At present 70% of the available freshwater is utilized for agriculture on average, with peaks of 95% in some developing countries [3]. Therefore, water utilization for agriculture cannot be further increased to support food production without compromising the access to water of cities and industries [4]. Guaranteeing food production for a growing population, while safeguarding the environment and reducing water waste, is of pivotal importance for the survival of our planet in the centuries to come. The goal of precision agriculture is to increase yield production while utilizing fewer resources, such as water, energy, fertilizers, and pesticides, through real-time analysis of crop needs [5]. To pursue this goal, precision agriculture relies on a combination of digital techniques, which make it possible to identify variations in conditions within a cultivated field and optimize the resource deployment strategy accordingly. In this article we describe some of the main advances in precision agriculture and, in particular, in smart water management. Several approaches are currently under study to perform crop monitoring, ranging from satellite-based remote sensing to on-field sensors [6]. To this end, the combination of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and ground sensors appears to be an effective operational solution both to implement high-resolution remote sensing and to ensure communication coverage to all wireless sensors deployed on the field without requiring fixed readers/base stations. In the following sections we will summarize some of the most widespread approaches. Finally, we will show how technological progress in the Internet of Things (IoT) can foster the widespread diffusion of precision agriculture; we will also sketch out some promising future directions to improve IoT environmental sustainability.

Feeding the World with Microwaves: How Remote and Wireless Sensing Can Help Precision Agriculture

Palazzi V.
;
Bonafoni S.;Alimenti F.;Mezzanotte P.;Roselli L.
2019

Abstract

Precision agriculture is increasingly a hot topic. The world population is in constant growth [1], which means that global food production also needs to rise to keep pace with the projected rising demand. Although food production has increased by 100% in the last 30 years, it must rise by another 60% by 2050 to reduce the risk of malnutrition. This can only be achieved by improving productivity, as, globally, the cultivated area is slowly contracting [2], drastically reducing the amount of arable land per person. At the same time, agriculture can have serious adverse effects on water and land, biodiversity, and carbon footprint. Currently, agriculture relies heavily on irrigation systems, which will become ever more challenging in the future, as growing urbanization pushes cultivation from temperate zones toward less-favorable climate areas. At present 70% of the available freshwater is utilized for agriculture on average, with peaks of 95% in some developing countries [3]. Therefore, water utilization for agriculture cannot be further increased to support food production without compromising the access to water of cities and industries [4]. Guaranteeing food production for a growing population, while safeguarding the environment and reducing water waste, is of pivotal importance for the survival of our planet in the centuries to come. The goal of precision agriculture is to increase yield production while utilizing fewer resources, such as water, energy, fertilizers, and pesticides, through real-time analysis of crop needs [5]. To pursue this goal, precision agriculture relies on a combination of digital techniques, which make it possible to identify variations in conditions within a cultivated field and optimize the resource deployment strategy accordingly. In this article we describe some of the main advances in precision agriculture and, in particular, in smart water management. Several approaches are currently under study to perform crop monitoring, ranging from satellite-based remote sensing to on-field sensors [6]. To this end, the combination of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and ground sensors appears to be an effective operational solution both to implement high-resolution remote sensing and to ensure communication coverage to all wireless sensors deployed on the field without requiring fixed readers/base stations. In the following sections we will summarize some of the most widespread approaches. Finally, we will show how technological progress in the Internet of Things (IoT) can foster the widespread diffusion of precision agriculture; we will also sketch out some promising future directions to improve IoT environmental sustainability.
2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1455374
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