Type: Book

Precision agriculture for sustainability


Formerly a scientist at the internationally-renowned Silsoe Research Institute, Dr John Stafford is well known as a leader in precision agriculture technologies. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers, Co-Editor of the journal Precision Agriculture and past President of the International Society of Precision Agriculture (ISPA).



Publication date:

26 October 2018

Length of book:

380 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786762047



Precision agriculture is based on the ability to identify inter and intra-field variability and to use this information for more targeted crop management. By using resources more efficiently, precision agriculture can make agriculture more productive and sustainable. This volume reviews the key elements of and advances in precision agriculture technology and applications.

Part 1 looks at monitoring techniques, including proximal soil and crop sensors and remote sensing technologies. The book then goes on to discuss how this information is processed to identify management zones and input targets as well as the delivery mechanisms required such as variable rate application and targeted spray technologies. The final part of the book surveys the wide range of applications of precision agriculture, from controlled traffic farming to site-specific nutrient and water management.

With its distinguished editor and international team of subject experts, this will be a standard reference for crop scientists and agronomists as well as all those concerned with improving the efficiency and sustainability of agriculture.

Key features

  • Comprehensive review of key technologies in precision agriculture, from proximal and remote sensing to decision support systems and variable rate technologies 
  • Surveys key applications of precision agriculture from controlled traffic farming to site-specific nutrient and water management 
  • Includes discussion of the economics of precision agriculture

What others are saying...

"Congratulations to the authors for putting together a comprehensive collection of key themes in precision agriculture. When appropriately augmented with local material, specific to the country/production system of relevance, this text is a very valuable, foundational learning tool. First principles can only go so far. In a rapidly evolving sector, a survey of the latest developments in these key areas is a must for students, teachers and researchers alike."
Dr. B.A. Stewart, Director Dryland Agriculture Institute and Distinguished Professor of Agriculture, West Texas A&M University, USA

Table of contents

Part 1 Information gathering and processing
1.Proximal soil surveying and monitoring techniques: Robin Gebbers, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Germany;
2.Proximal crop sensor technologies: Richard B. Ferguson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA;
3.Airborne and satellite remote sensors for precision agriculture: Chenghai Yang, USDA-ARS, USA;
4.The use of unmanned aerial systems (UASs) in precision agriculture: Chunhua Zhang, Algoma University, Canada; and John M. Kovacs and Dan Walters, Nipissing University, Canada;
5.Key challenges and methods in identifying management zones: Spyros Fountas, Evangelos Anastasiou and Zisis Tsiropoulos, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece; Aristotelis Tagarakis, BioSense Institute - Research Institute for Information Technologies in Biosystems, Serbia; and Athanasios Balafoutis, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Institute of Bioeconomy & Agro-technology, Greece;
6.Modelling and decision support systems in precision agriculture: Nicolas Tremblay, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada;

Part 2 Delivery systems
7.Variable rate application (VRA) technologies in precision agriculture: Ken Sudduth, USDA-ARS, USA;
8.Spray technologies in precision agriculture: Paul Miller, Silsoe Spray Applications Unit Ltd, UK;
9.Intelligent machinery for precision agriculture: Qin Zhang, Washington State University, USA, Joseph Dvorak, University of Kentucky, USA; and Timo Oksanen, Aalto University, Finland;
10.Controlled traffic farming (CTF) in precision agriculture: Diogenes Antille, University of Southern Queensland, Australia;

Part 3 Applications
11.Precision tillage systems: Pedro Andrade-Sanchez, University of Arizona, USA;
12.Variable seeding systems for precision agriculture: John Fulton, Ohio State University, USA;
13.Site-specific nutrient/fertiliser management systems: Dan Long, USDA-ARS, USA;
14.Site-specific irrigation systems: Amir Haghverdi, University of California-Riverside, USA; and Brian G. Leib, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, USA;
15.Precision crop protection systems: Erich-Christian Oerke, University of Bonn, Germany;
16.Precision weed management systems: Roland Gerhards, University of Hohenheim, Germany;
17.Precision livestock farming and pasture management systems: Mark Trotter, University of New England, Australia;
18.The economics of precision agriculture: James Lowenberg-Deboer, Harper Adams University, UK;