Farmers had started employing several tricks to ramp up yields and prevent crop failure about 12 thousand years ago. Since we will need far more food when we hit 2050, around 70% more than our current need, it is very relevant to roll out new technologies. We can anticipate the sharp rise in the demand for food considering the ever-increasing number of people walking on the globe. In this case, it is the technology alone that we can rely on to enhance agricultural efficiency.
Avoiding crop failure is possible with crop protection, meaning farmers can secure crops against unwanted pests, viruses, plant diseases , and similar harmful factors with the help of a combination of products, instruments, and strategies. The collective wisdom of experts echoes that protection from crop failure is always more efficient than cure. Therefore, farmers are wiping out unwanted impacts in tandem with scientists by constantly working on control measures.
In the absence of such effort, these unwanted creatures can wreak havoc and thus diminish and ruin future crops. Thankfully, several solutions already exist owing to the new developments in our contemporary agriculture. Meanwhile, it is worth noting that farmers must employ the correct approach to plant protection because productivity-boosting and loss reduction is dependent on it.
The Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations specialized agency, makes a striking claim. It says that the farmers can immediately suffer 40% of the crop failure because of pests and plant diseases, given that they do not implement crop protection methods.
Meanwhile, crop monitoring proves a powerful tool for accomplishing sustainable crop production. It leads to building a resilient agricultural system by promoting agroecological knowledgebase and practice. Hence, farmers do not have to bear the brunt of potential costs associated with adverse factors that lead to problem manifestation.
What can be a cause of crop failure?
Several countries are behind in food security because of crop failure. Farmers and many people linked with agriculture often deal with this problem. In this context, the United Nations specialized agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), makes a substantial claim. It gives a figure of $96 billion lost to crop and livestock output because of natural disasters impacting the economies of developing countries in terms of their agriculture sectors between 2005 and 2015.
With no room to think otherwise, crop failure is often the result of natural disasters caused by skills deprivation and human activity. According to one ABC News report, protracted droughts resulting from climate change alongside complex water sources resulted in the loss of 700 million rupiahs of one Indonesian farmer. Now, let us see some other factors that lead to crop failure.
The soil fertility and harvest success are indeed dependent on the condition of the land. Irrigation might be susceptible to getting blocked because of geographical location. For instance, plants may fail to consume enough water due to a lack of water supply.
Similarly, water points and wells are prone to recede in dry weather. Hence, the non-availability of water will prevent irrigation from taking place. On the other hand, fields can suffer flooding during the rainy season, which can cause an overflow of water.
Wrong seed variety
Farmers can also face crop failure due to another factor: the incorrect choice of seed varieties. They may use incongruent seeds with regional conditions to quickly wipe out diseases and pests.
Using of pesticide
Often, pest explosion can occur because of excessive utilization of pesticides that may result in crop failure. Unfortunately, many farmers sprinkle disproportionate amounts of pesticide in the hope of killing maximum pests. But it does not work this way and instead impacts soil fertility by killing beneficial microorganisms. Plus, it averts the breakdown of nutrients underneath the soil.
It is challenging to overcome a fungal disease, Anthracnose, which affects chili cultivation. It was such a case in India in 2014 when these pests had caused a crop failure. India bagged a loss of 29.5%, or in dollar terms, it was a whopping 491.67 million US dollars.
Apart from India, countries such as Vietnam and Korea also deal with this problem. The factors that become the reason for this type of pest include humidity, rainfall, and light in tropical nation-states. All the same, these pests can also precipitate crop failure in non-tropical countries.
Weed plants tend to have stronger resistance in comparison to cultivated plants. These weed plants also produce allelopathy, a catalyst averting the primary plant growth, through their roots. As a result, nutrients are naturally controlled by the weed plants for their advantage.
It becomes challenging for roots to develop owing to soil texture hardening and soil problems with soil physical changes, thereby affecting soil fertility. The provided situation leads to poor drainage, prolonged water-holding, and lack of water absorption due to a shortage of density, particle density, or oxygen. On the other hand, scarcity of soil nutrients, soil minerals, and unstable soil pH, alongside other factors, cause the problem of soil chemical properties.
Against this backdrop, farmers and business people can avoid crop failure by optimally utilizing technology which is a blessing of our digital era. Advanced farming styles, tractors, drones, and sensors are some of the tools in the toolkit of our times.
What methods can improve the crop failure situation?
Let us now see the methods to improve the crop failure situation.
Sensors and drones
While the military and aviation are already using drone technology heavily, farming and plantations can also use it for their benefit. It can effectively help farmers spray at a large scale with excellent efficiency. Unlike conventional methods, drones are faster as farmers no longer need to floor spray pesticides. Besides, drones are managed with the help of smartphones. So, farmers can monitor and execute everything with a device. Drones are also being taken advantage of by plantation companies to prevent the impact of pesticide contamination on the human body.
We mentioned earlier that the geographical location of the soil also causes crop failure. While considering that, drones and sensors can help examine the fertility of the soil. Apart from that, it can also help map soil moisture adequate for planting.
Preventing pathogens and pests is also possible with the correct use of drones to ensure plant health in the harvest maintenance process. Essentially, farmers can detect these pathogens and pests with drone sensors before these creatures spread beyond control. After all, overcoming these mini creatures can prevent farmers and business people from bearing losses.
Irrigation system optimization
Farmers can maintain maximum yields and desirable plant health by ensuring the correct soil moisture level. They can find out zones bearing consistent low productivity by zoning the fields through vegetation indices in the EOS crop monitoring system.
Factors such as improper fertilizing, flooding, and even lack of water can hinder the plants, ultimately leading them to the susceptibility to diseases. For example, weed growth is plausible with flooding in certain areas. So, farmers can take a step in the right direction toward averting potential threats by identifying and wiping out these factors.
Optimizing irrigation by water control is another element. In the world, clean water used for agriculture needs is as much as 70%, and 60% of it gets wasted. So, features such as optimal distribution and remote control offered by innovative technology systems can resolve this issue.
When it comes to controlling pests, you will find several effective ways to deal with them. It incorporates agronomic, mechanical, and chemical.
The agronomic method, in particular, tends to have a preventive nature. First and foremost, it needs to study the soil composition and measure its quality , including nutrition, the timespan of use, acidity, groundwater level, and other aspects. At the same time, soil fertilization at the right time and cleaning the remnants of plants from the fields are other crucial actions.
Moreover, monitoring the status of your fields at all times is also necessary. The optimal crop protection comes from a suitable response to the threat. Farmers can identify and localize areas under assault by pests with the help of continual monitoring of fields using vegetation indices. Indeed, an immediate reaction to the threat will not only save money but will also protect plants.
- Leveraging chemicals.
- Planting of disease-resistant variants.
- Introducing quarantine for infected plants.
- Constant monitoring and predicting plant conditions.
- The heat treatment of plants
- Crop rotation and deep plowing.
- After the harvest set the remnants on fire.
- Insects usually transmit a plethora of viral diseases to plants. Subsequently, farmers can control these diseases by controlling these insects.Do you want help to forecast and prevent plant diseases? GeoPard Crop Monitoring can help you go a long way since it analyzes precipitation, temperature, moisture, and soil conditions.