Variable-rate application (VRA) in agriculture is a section in tech that majors in the automated use of products in a certain landscape. The manner in which the products are used relies on the data that is gathered through sensors, GPS, and maps. Products are not limited to chemicals, seeds, or fertilizers , and all of them are simply to aid increase crop yields.
What is Variable-rate application?
Variable-rate application (VRA) is a precision farming technique that involves adjusting the application rate of inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds to different areas of a field based on their specific needs.
VRA uses data from various sources, including satellite imagery, soil maps, and yield data, to create a customized prescription map that guides the application of inputs to different sections of the field.
By tailoring the input application to the specific needs of each area, VRA can optimize crop yields, reduce input waste, and lower costs, making it an effective and efficient tool for precision farming.
There are several kinds of tech that are applied in this area of agriculture. They cover nearly all things such as:
- Hyperspectral Imaging
- Artificial intelligence
Nonetheless, the kind of VRT is applied, it is crucial to get to know the general method and how it is used.
Variable-rate application technology in Precision Agriculture
Using fertilizer is a normal agricultural trend or activity that is capable of being automated through the use of VRT. Below is a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to use VRT to spray fertilizer:
Zoning/Management Areas – Management areas are divided into sections of a field where conflicting products need to be applied.
When you choose to use VRT, it is crucial to mark which sections the machines need to apply certain products to, since failure to then, you are most likely to face negative results.
Owing to its value, the initial step when using a fertilizer with VRT tech is simple to set the right management sections. It is also necessary to validate that this information is perfectly fed into the VRA system.
Map-Driven vs. Sensor-Driven VRA – VRT in farming can either be sensor-driven or map-driven. The following step is simply to find out the form that is more of a solution to the current challenge that you are experiencing.
Besides that, it can also depend on the disadvantages of the VRT tech that is already applied. Map-based VRT is simply when a map is produced of the landscape and fed to the system prior to working out the activities.
On the other hand, sensor-driven is simply where VRT tech mergers sensors that are capable of automatically detecting the information that later aids in making decisions on the perfect fertilizer to be applied. For instance, it can sense the crop’s well-being and through that make the right decision.
What Data/Imagery Needs to Be Used – Immediately after choosing either sensor-driven or map-driven, the next thing is to find out about the kind of data that the sensors need to be gathering, or what kind of imagery needs to be used in the locating.
Several VRA technologies use drones or other forms of imaging systems to find data regarding the landscape.
Data and Information that is accurate and perfect for spreading fertilizer is not limited to things such as the soil quality and products, the kind of crop, the pace at which the machine is moving when spreading fertilizer, and lastly the data about the climate.
Other Applications and Benefits
Variable-rate application technology in farming majors on other several areas and not only on the spreading of fertilizers. Some other common applications of VRA tech involve:
- Use of herbicides and even other kinds of chemicals
- Detecting pests and diseases
- Detecting weeds
Generally, VRA tech is majorly used to find out information regarding a certain landscape and also to make a system come up with decisions depending on the information provided. These decisions that are made determine the kind of products to be used in the field.
Apart from that, the benefit of using a VRA system is that it can aid automates this entire section of the agricultural process.
The more automation and precision that a firm specializes in its operations, the more money it can save by higher production and efficiency. Several sources show lots of economic benefits of using VRA as shown below:
Higher chances of yield increase since there is more efficient spying and fertilization according to actual crop needs and variability of lands. Environmental protection from excess spraying of pests and also fertilization.
Geopard is one of the best ways that you can use to try out the Variable-rate application service since it offers several services such as:
- Zones creator and managed automation
- Set rates
- Compatibility and Export
- Single-layer analytics
- Multi-layer analytics
- Field Potential Multi-year maps
- Field Stability maps
- Cross-layer maps
- Statistics for zones
- Data compatibility
- Draw zones manually
- And many others