Precision farming in arable crops

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal

    The aim of the project is the demonstration of innovative techniques and applications of precision agriculture to a broad agricultural public that are already being effectively implemented at pioneer farms in Flanders.

    All agricultural crops produce a certain output (crop yield) after certain inputs (water, manure, crop protection, energy, labor and soil management) has been applied. Evidence is increasing that precision farming techniques ensure a better balance between (fewer) inputs and (better) quality and quantity of outputs. The aim of the 'smart crops' project is to demonstrate already proven and almost market-ready innovative techniques and applications of precision agriculture to a broad agricultural public. These specific techniques are currently in a phase that they are already being implemented effectively, but only with a few pioneer farmers.

    Research approach

    We select various locations and times for the demonstrations to show how the production system can be improved at various stages in the cultivation cycle with the aid of precision agriculture. For instance, at planting and sowing, during the growing season using site-specific fertilization and spraying based on crop sensors and by measuring yield. In addition, RTK GPS also receives a lot of attention in the project because it forms the basis of precision agriculture. Although many farmers use some functionalities of RTK GPS, most do not make good use of the real potential. That is why the step towards the other technologies with regard to precision farming is sometimes proving difficult.


    It is important for the future users of precision farming that they learn to see its double potential: simultaneously optimizing the harvest (fewer losses, increased efficiency) and implementing a more sustainable agricultural practice that drastically reduces the amount of environmentally harmful external inputs. With these demonstrations, field workers and equipment builders are shown how precision agriculture is based on applied knowledge and intelligent sensors. 

    Effective start/end date1/01/1731/12/18