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Remote Sensing - A Future Technology in Precision Farming

Prof. Dr. Walter Kuehbauch (1)and Dr. Stefan Hawlitschka(2)

(1) Institute of crop production, Katzenburgweg 5, 53115 Bonn, Germany
(2) FGAN, Ubierweg 5, 53117 Bonn, Germany


The paper briefly reports the opportunities of remote sensing for precision farming, a coming main focus in agriculture. Foreseeable advantages in precision farming that can be achieved by remote sensing are: o tracing target areas with abnormal appearance; early recording of hidden faults in field crops and on site identification of their causes o improved partitioning of fields into zones of uniform crop management o mapping of the spatial expansion of diseases and pests in field crops throughout the growing season; revision and enhancement of measures of pest control o continuous or stage dependent mapping of the crop nutrient demand, e.g. nitrogen; revision and enhancement of measures of fertiliser application o successive control of the effectiveness of crop management actions. In this context polarimetry is powerful to enhance the accuracy of the determination of biophysical parameters of agricultural crops. In a SIR-C/X-SAR study the cross-polarized C-band backscatter value Chv as well as the coefficient Lhh/Lvv could be shown to detect the amount of biomass of cereals very well. In another study conducted earlier in the vegetation period with the airborne E-SAR the coefficient Lhh/Xvv correlated well with the Biomass of winter barley. From that data in the ProSmart project 'Vitalitaet' a map of the variability of the Biomass within fileds could be generated. Successful introduction of remote sensing in precision farming depends on the availability of ready to use products for the farmers. In order to transform remote sensing data in practicable site specific applications, close cooperation between the operators of satellite systems and agro-consultants will be necessary.


Full paper


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