The concept of precision agriculture was born in the United States in the 1980s, in response to the need to minimize risks to humans and the environment. So what are the challenges of this new approach? What tools are used? What is TERIA’s contribution?
What is precision agriculture?
Precision agriculture reduces energy consumption and input use in agricultural plots. Thanks to the use of new technologies, precision agriculture is therefore able to significantly increase plot productivity. To do this, in addition to field equipment (agricultural tools, on-board GPS), it uses remote sensing equipment (satellites or drones) as well as tools to help process the data collected (accessible in the form of in-service apps).
After processing and analysis, these data will be used to optimize farmers’ daily lives while promoting environmental impact. In other words, the data will only allow intervention when necessary.
What is the purpose of precision in agriculture?
The need for precision in agriculture concerns 3 major aspects.
The first is agronomic.
Precision agriculture makes it possible to better understand and analyse the physiological needs of crops for a better optimization of production. These techniques allow operators to adapt to all types of soil (required treatments, disease detection, etc.) or to different weather constraints (rainy weather, fog, day and night work, etc.).
The second is concerned with the environment.
We also talk about agro-ecology, which consists in manufacturing production systems based on the functionalities provided by ecosystems. Its goal is to expand these features while reducing environmental pressures and thus preserving natural resources. Read the article on WeedElec – l’agriculture robotisée
Finally, there is an economic challenge: to produce more with less.
In summary, precision agriculture makes it possible to:
Correction systems in precision agriculture
Differential GPS (dGPS) and SBAS signal: relative accuracy
DGPS accuracy allows the repeatability of measurements to be obtained locally but with an accuracy of a several tens of centimetres. The SBAS signal (EGNOS in Europe) consists in providing corrections that do not allow repeatability over time, except over a short period of time (on average 15 minutes). It is subject to satellite drift (in fact it is the drift of continents…), their positioning, their number and the possibility of signal loss.
Differential GPS guidance (dGPS)
RTK (Real time Kinematic) : very high accuracy
Very high accuracy enables you to move from one place to another without time constraints. The RTK provides a more accurate correction than the dGPS. Indeed, there is no signal drift with the RTK. Thus, this system makes it possible to return to exactly the same place during agricultural operations. Read the article What do RTK and NRTK Mean ?
RTK positioning guidance
TERIA and precision agriculture
For several years, TERIA has been supporting all agricultural professionals in their work throughout the year. The need for precision in “adapted” agriculture is essential, assisted guidance and autoguiding solutions are an integral part of farmers’ daily lives. In a few years, they have become a real necessity and are now basic tools in precision agriculture.
Thanks to RTK technology, the TERIA network is able to offer real-time GNSS corrections with centimetric accuracy that allow users to return to the same location after months or even several years later. This principle is commonly referred to as repeatability. To do this, it is essential to rely on the centimetric accuracy of the GNSS corrections delivered but also on the precise and stable positioning of the reference stations requested.
There are 2 types of guidance systems: guidance assistance and assisted self-guidance
The guidance assistance is done only with the help of a console that will give the driver a driving orientation in order to perform the requested operation as well as possible.
The tractor is directly controlled by the system, the driver only operates at the end of the plot to make U-turns.
There are 2 autoguiding modes:
- Electric assistance with the motor directly on the steering wheel. The advantage: a universal system that can be moved from one tractor to another.
- Hydraulic assistance with the box fixed on the steering hydraulic circuit. The advantage: a reliable and efficient system with a proven longevity.
The need for assisted guidance and self-guidance
Le guidage assisté et l’autoguidage sont réellement nécessaires car ils permettent entre autres :
- The reduction or elimination of overlaps between passages
- A work of constant quality whatever the conditions (fog, night work, hilly conditions…)
- Saves time compared to marking the lines to be followed (no need for tramlines)
Scheme for accumulating errors in a plot
To understand the challenges of agro-ecology, here is an article on one of our fields of application, robotic agriculture with WeedElec..
The advantages of the TERIA network
In order to meet your needs and requirements, the TERIA network offers you increased know-how and optimal centimetric accuracy. Very committed, TERIA makes it a point of honour to guarantee a high quality of service to its customers.
What the TERIA network brings you on a daily basis
By using the RTK technology offered by the TERIA network, you have a centimetric accuracy of less than 5 cm in all 3 dimensions.
The TERIA network ensures you more availability and stability of measurement. Thus, this FULL GNSS network (all satellite constellations) allows a faster determination / fixation and a better positioning thanks to the multitude of satellites.
Regardless of the weather conditions, the constant availability of the TERIA network allows you to work at any time of the day. (Day or night, in foggy weather…)
The TERIA network provides you with real-time GNSS RTK corrections with centimetric accuracy that allows constant repeatability (returning to the same place every month or even every year).
The TERIA network is 100% GNSS satellite. It thus allows centimetric precision positioning in a few seconds using the PPP-RTK technique.
Sources : Arvalis-Institut du végétal / Chambre d’Agriculture Isère