In conventional farming, the whole field is typically treated in the same way, based on what is believed to be most widely appropriate. Aiming for a more sustainable agriculture, new technology can be used to adjust the treatment of soil and plants depending on their needs, which often vary widely within the same field. This approach is called precision agriculture, and is applied at the Center of Precision Agriculture (CPA).
The purpose of the centre is to contribute to a resource-efficient and sustainable agriculture by shortening the time-span farmers need to adopt new agricultural technology. At the centre, technological solutions for both current and future precision agriculture are developed and tested. This involves sensor systems, cameras and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) that are mounted on tractors, autonomous robots (unmanned ground vehicles, UGV), drones (unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV), or satellites. The technology allows for site-specific needs to be mapped, which in turn makes it possible to adjust the amount of disease control, fertilisers and weed applied to different parts of the field.
The research and development activities at the Center for Precision Agriculture are focused on: precision fertilisation, precision weeding (both chemical and mechanical), advanced agricultural technology (auto-steering, equipment management, decision support), robotization and automation, as well as spatio-temporal data handling and multivariate statistics.
The Center for Precision Agriculture was established in 2016 and is part of the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). Partners include key stakeholders in the agricultural market, selected technology companies and research centres, as well as end users, such as the Farmers’ Union.
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