Sustainable food production and food security are central challenges of this century. Limited acreage and high demand for resources for food and bio-energy production drive up prices. One promising way of solving these problems is to achieve higher efficiency in production via precision farming.
TalkingFields is an initiative intended not only to overcome these shortages but also to provide farmers with affordable and low-time consuming, end-to-end precision farming services to increase production efficiency. TalkingFields is based on a geo-information service that applies satellite-based data sources and techniques in an integrative way.
Satellite sensors from Earth Observation deliver spatial information about the crop development. In- field sensors, where available, measure weather conditions. The farmer communicates the applied and planned farming measures to the geo-data service. An agricultural geo-information service integrates all input data, and translates it into advice on what farming measures are required. The recommended measures are delivered to the farmer, who uses satellite navigation for auto-steering and realisation of these site-specific farming activities.
The feasibility of this integrative application of space techniques for precision farming was studied in the frame of ESA's ARTES 20 Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) Programme. The resulting IAP Demonstration Project project has been completed.