Digital precision agriculture: A software for sustainable management of agro-environmental systems
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Author: Gertsis, Athanasios
Digital Precision Agriculture os a software product resulted from a recent research program, undertaken under the Poles of Innovation of Central Macedonia, in Greece. The software provides valuable information to farmers, consultants, students and other end-users for efficient and sustainable soil and crop management and for minimising adverse environmental effects caused by conventional management practices. It considers and maps the soil-plant system variability and establishes optimal and integrated management zones (IMZ), based on important soil and plant properties affecting yield and soil fertility. The program can be used under almost any crop production system either field crops. Currently, the input information required to run it, includes soil texture, soil organic matter, soil reaction (pH) and soil electrical conductivity (EC). It uses ArcGIS as the running platform and provides as output Integrated Management Zones of all the above four properties. The principles and approaches of Precision Agriculture were integrated in the program which is directly compatible with the forthcoming legislation on the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and with the climate change. Demonstration results from case studies are presented in this paper. The software is under further development, to include a larger database and more soil-crop-climate properties as input variables and to be transferred and run under other GIS systems.