Global Positioning System and its Applications in Agriculture

Global positioning system (GPS) is a system that gives us information related to a specific area and time in all weather conditions. Initially this system was developed for its wide range of applications in military forces but now days it is equally playing its role in civil services. In military it is used for solider navigation, tracking of target area, missile guidance, rescue operations etc. In civil services it has wide range applications in synchronization of clock, radio and telegraphy, sports, survey of specific area, recreation etc. It is basically a radio-navigation system that provides all the information on or near the earth that lies within the orbital range of GPS satellites. Basic components of GPS system are receiver, Baseband filter, Code generator, integrator and correlator output. GPS has a wide range of applications in agriculture. In past, farmer relied on out dated cultural practices. But farmer of the present age has an edge to use modernized farming technology and practices. GPS plays a very beneficial role in cultural practices, fertilization and plant protection measures, crop mapping, pest scouting, sample analysis and harvesting of the final produce. It increases the productivity, saves time and helps in the precise cultivation of seeds. Regarding, fertilization and plant protection measures it plays an important role in optimized use of fertilizers and precise placement of fertilizers. It also helps in the optimized and managed use of water, more accurate pest scouting and data collection of all these parameters. In crop harvesting it plays an important role in controlling the harvesting operations. It minimizes the fuel cost and creates yield maps. It also helps us in precise soil sampling that includes both grid and directed sampling.

Variable Rate Control is another application of GPS. It determines the position of equipment in the particular location of the field and gets data about that location.  A computer based system is operated that adjust the precise rate of inputs to be used at that particular place. Precision agriculture is a very beneficial application of GPS. It relies on field maps and controls the precise application of all crop inputs throughout the field. It adjusts the use of fertilizers, seeds, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. In this way, it helps in minimizing the cost of all crop inputs. It is therefore, a very important and beneficial system that helps a lot in cost minimization and getting maximum yields that helps the farmers in enhancing their standard of life.

written by.

Dr. Shakeel Ahmad Anjum, Aqsa Ikram, Iftikhar Ali, Usman Nazir, Ayesha Farooq

Agro-biology Laboratory, Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan



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