Precision Agriculture (PA)

PA and site-specific crop management (SSCM) is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability in crops. This means that the farm field is managet not by constant application of fertilizer, chemicals all over the field, by in a variable rate corresponding to a detailed assessment of the need of each part of the field. In this way use of appliances and chemicals can be radically optimized with improved efficiency. Eg pesticide is only spayed on the part of the field that is infected. In all this leads to much higher resource efficiency, earnings and helps towards sustainability.

Farm Automation

Farm automation, enabling automated data collection from weather stations, farm machinery, tractors, drones, and other field scouting, assessing soil and plant health. Farmers can precisely track the tractor with GPS and be sure to apply the correct amount of e.g. fertilizer or pesticide on the part of the field that is needing it.

It is becoming apparent that the access of farm and field data is the key to carry out informed decision making and achieve radical improvements in agriculture.

On longer terms, precision agriculture and agricultural data science is seen to be the next revolution in agriculture productivity and sustainability. Also leading to establishment of new agri-business supply chains and new business growth.

Use of remote sensing, GPS and satellite data will enable precision agriculture.

Agro Meteorological Services

Agro meteorology services which can give farmers detailed local weather forecasts and other weather information. Those will typically be based on both national and international weather data and forecasts, as well as local weather stations. With Agro meteorological services farmers will be able to:

  • Assess current disease pressure risks for individual farms and types of crops
  • Allow decision making and guidance on e.g. when to is a good time to sow, irrigate, spray, harvest and so on.
  • Assess and predict risk of wildfires
  • Assess and predict risk of droughts
  • Assess and predict risk of flooding

Release of free meteorological data is foreseen to produce business growth, and create numerous new services, web applications, mobile apps, tools, and knowledge resources for the benefit of eg. farmers to become more productive, sustainable and profitable.

Remote sensing data

These platforms will be essential to enable the integration with external remote sensing resources (and any other geospatial cyber resources), which covers a vast amount of available global satellite data, global sensor networks and other earth observation resources (from EU typically ESA Copernicus Earth observation resources, from US Nasa, Noah resources etc.) . These resources can be used for e.g. for

  • real-time view of vegetation index and plant health on individual fields
  • drought risk and water balance,
  • flooding risk,
  • risk of wild fires.

By use of these resources many spin off applications and new businesses are occurring, e.g. this service which farmers to assess the state of growth and nutrient balance on individual farm fields.

National digital platforms and digital infrastructure

On a larger scale this is part of the establishment of national digital registers, geo information system (GIS)-based resources, for public government and planning.

Example in Denmark is Denmark’s Environmental Portal, which is a portal integrating all available GIS resources. Most of the resources are accessible to the public via the web site. [1]

In Denmark a set of public basis-data is public available via a base-data programmed. This programmed includes: Geographical data, Address data, property data, company data, car registration data, and maritime data. Establishment of a digital infrastructure and the release data free to the public is a central element in the Danish National Strategy for digital growth [2]

Free access to the data will make basis for business growth and completely new types of businesses who use and enrich the data sets and develop new digital services, products and solutions.

Free meteorological data is estimated to benefit with 107 and 135 mill DKK annually, in agriculture and community heating sectors (Deloitte, Rambøl). [3,4,5]

Experience with free geo-data (GIS data) shows that such available data creates growth. Free geo data has already created socio economic benefits of about 3,5. bill DKK in the period from 2013-2016. These are primarily from growth in private businesses.

It is the general strategy and believe that a national digital infrastructure and services will be a fundament for growth of new businesses, and radically improve efficiency in many public administrative tasks. Recent reports from Denmark has concluded that freeing of Danish meteorological Institute weather forecast data and historic weather records is expected to lead to the establishment of a significant number of new businesses and jobs, and in all create positive national and strategic economic impacts.

The main challenge (technical challenge) lies in the ability to administrate large amounts of data and information in a cohesive and standardized manner. This vast amount of heterogeneous data and information must be standardized and normalized in order to be included and stored on the common platform. This process is typically the main challenge; however, many technologies are now available and established which eases this process considerably.




[4] Deloitte, 2016, Notat on “Erhvervsøkonomiske og samfunds-mæssige konsekvenser af en frisættelse af DMI’s meteorologiske data”

[5] Rambøll har i 2017 peget på et uopdyrket markedspotentiale for gratis data i vandrelaterede ydelser på op mod 106 mio. kr. pr. år.