Can Satellite Technology Help Farmers?

Satellites and other technological innovations, such as drones and more automated machinery, can provide the blueprints for a more robust agricultural system in developed and developing countries alike. Satellites have the advantage of providing statistical data rapidly, all while building a wealth of knowledge on how to improve farming techniques as well as identifying problems that arise in a more timely manner. There are two areas in particular, where satellite information can improve agricultural development. Firstly, satellite data significantly improves the design of agricultural production methods. For example, satellites can collect data on fields to monitor crop production. By monitoring fields over decades, the amount of biomass produced by particular areas can be calculated and correlated with the crop yields of that season. This information will help farmers better understand their current crop season and forecast the yield of their next harvest. The second area where satellite data can help farmers is through sampling and measurement. This can help identify early detection of trouble areas that may need further examination for possible imbalanced soil conditions, disease and pest problems, and inappropriate cultivars. By catching these problems as they arise, farmers will have the advantage of prioritizing interventions as well as gaining knowledge on best practices for future harvests that will in turn lead to fuller bellies the world over.