Agricultural and food sciences
- Agrochemistry and fertilisers
- Agricultural land management and planning
- Agricultural spatial analysis and modelling
- Sustainable agriculture
Global food production in the context of increasing human population and changing climate is one of the World’s greatest challenges. This calls for improved agricultural practises, of which precision agriculture is considered to be an answer. Within field variability of soil and crop growing conditions is present in most agriculture fields, which hinders crop production and necessitates an integrated approach to manage this variability. We propose to achieve this by site-specific applications of farm inputs (fertilizers, agrochemicals, water, seeds) through the use of advanced proximal soil and crop sensors, satellite positioning systems, agri-informatics and farm implement control systems. These will allow for precise and efficient variable rate application of farm inputs. The aim of the project is to set up a centre of Site-specific Technology for Soil and Crop Management (SiTeMan) within the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of the UGent, in collaboration with partner institutions. This centre will provide an integrated platform of cutting-edge proximal and remote sensing technologies, modelling and data fusion and advanced decision support tools within an agroeconomical context. When up and running, the SiTeMan would underpin growth and job creation in the precision agriculture sector in Flanders (Belgium), with the aspiration to expand into Europe and beyond.