Radio-Agriculture - Ground and Space-Based Determination of Agricultural Productivity

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C.S. Cockell (2002), JBIS, 55, 362-365

Refcode: 2002.55.362
Keywords: Seeds, space, agriculture, productivity

The decision to sow seeds in a field, either on a local level (such as on an individual plot) or on vast agricultural complexes, is irreversible. Once the seed is sown, provided there is liquid water, tem- perature conditions are adequate and in some cases light is available, it will germinate. The timing of seed sowing has important effects on subsequent agricultural productivity [1-4]. The correlation between time of sowing and productivity causes several problems. Firstly, sowing seed depends absolutely upon a correct judgement on weather conditions, sometimes to the day. Secondly, not all crops need to be sown at the same time and so resources in manpower and equipment must be available for sowing different crops at different times. Great im- provements in resource allocation could be made if all seeds could be sown at the same time. Thirdly, there is no flexibility once resources to sowing have been committed. For example, in large agricultural areas manpower and machinery might be committed at particular times of the year to sowing, but if the weather conditions are not correct either they must be re-scheduled or productivity is lost. Local factors such as irrigation system availability might also impose upon a farmer a wish to be able to regulate the germination of particular fields, particularly in developing countries.

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