The LINKDAPA project aims to promote sustainable agriculture by working with farmers to co-create crop management zones for precision agriculture solutions.
Farmers increasingly generate a large amount of data and collect information about their fields and crops. This has the potential to be used to support crop management decisions, making farming more economically and environmentally efficient. Precision agriculture solutions gather, process and analyse this data and information, however so far there has been low uptake of this methodology by the farming community.
This project is working with farmers and their advisers, using multi-source data to co-create crop management zones to provide precision agriculture solutions. The zones will be based on integrating historical and current data taken from individual fields. Algorithms developed as part of the project in 2020 are being used to map wheat crops. These maps provide information about the potential yield and grain quality variation in fields, as well as probabilities that yield and quality will exceed farmer specified thresholds.
As part of the co-creation of innovative precision agriculture solutions for management zones, the project explored:
- how accuracy increases with the number of data sources;
- farmers’ willingness to pay for more data (e.g. higher resolution image capture by drone/satellite, soil electrical conductivity/compaction scans); and
- end user confidence based on probability maps.
Research in 2021 will use results from 50-60 wheat crops in 30 fields to validate the algorithms and crop management options developed. These will be incorporated into a new software platform for the farming community.