Topic: Precision farming: present and future Johari Jalinas Centre for Insects Systematic, School of Environmental and

Natural Resource Sciences Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia e-mail:

Farming is the practice in the agriculture to produce food such as grains and live stock. Agriculture is one of the oldest sources of human livelihood and can be found in most parts of the world. It has developed from simple cultivation to differentiated forms. Agricultural production is very important for human needs and the most importantly the production of essential nutritional products, supplying raw materials for industrial purposes, and producing bioenergy.

Precision farming is very important practice to increase the production of the yield of the crops or livestock’s in farming activities. In order to do the precision farming, the farmers should identify and know the problems that occurred or will happen during the farming activities. The problems might be caused by environmental factors. Environmental problems in agriculture vary from one country to another (Kirchmann and Thorvaldsson 2000) Some of them are caused by natural conditions (high native heavy metal content, drought, volcanic eruptions, etc.), others depend on agricultural practices (leaching of nutrients and pesticides etc), and some are related to human influence in other areas (air pollution). The relative importance of the quality components varies between countries or areas depending on the environmental and agricultural conditions point out the kinds of problems agriculture is facing and to present important quality components of agriculture we should be aware of. The problems such as insect resistant had caused the farmer loss billion of dollars.

Historically, nutrient exhaustion and soil erosion may have been the principal reasons why agricultural systems have not been sustainable in humid and humid tropical areas. Traditional tillage to improve subsoil conditions through deep plowing or ripping, sometimes combined with ameliorant addition, have often failed to provide a better structure. Massive soil loosening may not result in long-term improvement of the structure because the organic carbon content and microbial activity in subsoils are too low for formation of stable aggregates

Present status The aim and the purpose of the precision farming is to increase the yield and the quality of the crops or livestock. The quality components are aimed for characterizing the quality of agricultural production systems in their wholeness and can be used as a checklist of what we should be aware of concerning protection of the environment, production of healthy food and the practice of good ethics

1. The protection of agricultural soils is essential for maintaining the production potential and ensuring a high quality of agricultural products (Soil erosion and salinization, Soil fertility, Compaction of subsoils, Soil pollution 2. The protection of other biospheres, the atmosphere and groundwater (Use of pesticides, Leaching of plant nutrients, Emission of climatic trace gases, 3. Conservative resource practices are required to achieve a long-lasting of natural resources. (Use of water resources, Circulation of plant nutrients, Energy use, Biological di6ersity 4. High quality of agricultural products 5. Attractive countryside (Farms should be tidy and fit into the landscape. The appearance of farms gives the product an image. It may be hard to convince consumers of the quality of a product if the aesthetic of the farm does not support it. Each farm should express robustness, care, attractiveness and environmental adaptation. 6. Ethic 7. Implementation of the Integrated Pest Management in increased the production of the crops above the Economic Threshold level (ETL). (Cultural control,Biological

control, Chemical control, Behavioral manipulation, Host Plant Resistance, Ecological Engineered agrosystem).

Introducing of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and plant breeding have increased productivity and made crop production possible on previously uncultivated land (Kirchmann and Thorvaldsson 2000).

Future status 1. Conservative resource practices are required to achieve a long-lasting of natural resources In addition, salinization, the accumulation of salts in the surface soils of arid and semiarid regions where annual evaporation is greater than leaching, is detrimental to plant growth. 2. The fertility of soils is a prerequisite for their production potential. In the long run, soil fertility can only be maintained if the output of plant nutrients through harvested products and losses in the form of leaching and gaseous emissions is compensated by an equivalent input. Thus, recycling needs to be supplemented with the addition of nutrients to avoid a gradual reduction in soils with a low adsorbtive capacity and in the longterm also in heavy textured soils. 3. The ‘smart’ sensors will be used in livestock farming, of which such as integrated management systems (IMS) – relies upon automatic monitoring of livestock and related physical processes. 4. Mathematical Modeling and software to plan strategy, predict the yield of products, and making decision in farming (Such as DSSSAT 4) 5. Using sterile insects’ technique to control the insect pest such as fruitflies. 6. Yield monitoring by using high technology sensor 7. Geographic information system


Kirchmann, Holger, and Gudni Thorvaldsson. 2000. Challenging targets for future agriculture. European Journal of Agronomy 12:145-161. Wathes. C.M., Kristensen. H.H., Aerts. J. M., and Berckmans D. Is precision livestock farming an engineer's daydream or nightmare, an animal's friend or foe, and a farmer's panacea or pitfall.

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