Taking farming into the space age
01 August 2017
Humans started to cultivate land around 10,000 years ago, so we must be pretty good at it by now. However, environmental concerns, sustainability, quotas, subsidies and paperwork make farming more challenging than ever. Satellites offer a solution to many of these problems, but how does the ordinary farmer tap into their potential?
Satellites such as Europe's Copernicus Sentinel missions and ESA's SMOS and the upcoming Florescence Explorer, FLEX, provide a wealth of information about growing conditions and crop health that can be used to improve agricultural efficiency.
But satellite data are just the starting point - they have to be turned into easy-to-use applications to be of any real value to farmers.