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Remote sensing in Agriculture

Remote sensing in Agriculture it is an art and science of information gathering about the objects / area from the real world at a distance without direct physical contact with the object for study.

Remote sensing in Agriculture it is a tool used to monitor the earth’s resources using space technologies to ground observations for higher precision and accuracy in study. The use of electromagnetic spectrum (visible, infrared and microwaves) for evaluating the earth’s features it is a principle behind remote sensing.


In the 1950s by Ms. Evelyn Pruitt has been first used “Remote Sensing” in the United States of the U.S. Office of Naval Research purpose. It refers to the activities like recording/Observing /perceiving (sensing) objects /events at far away (remote) places. According to Aronoff in 1995, “Remote sensing is the art and science for obtaining information from a long distance, i.e. obtaining information about objects without being in physical contact with them.

Its science provides the instruments and theory information to understand how objects and situation can be detected. For the development and use of analysis techniques to generate useful information it is an art of remote sensing technique.

Components of Remote Sensing

Energy Source: For remote sensing, the first requirement is an energy source which provides electromagnetic energy.

Radiation and the Atmosphere: The energy passes from its source to the target area; it will come in contact with target and interact with the atmosphere it passes through.

Interaction with Target: When energy travels from the target through the atmosphere, which is interacts with target depending on the properties of the target and radiations also.

Remote sensing in Agriculture

Recording of Energy by the Sensor: The emitted energy from the target, a sensor can detect and also recording the electromagnetic radiations.

Transmission, Reception, and Processing: The recorded energy from the sensor has been transmitted in the electronic form, after that the receiving and processing stations can process the data covert into an image.

Interpretation and Analysis: The extracted information about the target, the processed image is interpreted, visually or digitally also.

Application: For achievement of final element of this process is by applying the information ad able to extract from the imagery about the target for better understanding and solving particular problems.

ICT in Agriculture


The basic principle of this technique, that different objects based on their structural, physical or chemical properties which can reflect or emits the different amount of energy in different wavelength ranges of electro – magnetic spectrum.

The sensor measures the amount of reflected energy from that object and represents it into an image.
Remote sensing has many applications related to the agricultural sector. The many applications are facing the global challenges in agricultural sector i.e. minimizing the environmental impact, for increasing production and productivity of the commodity.

(1) Biomass and yield estimation,
(2) Vegetation vigor and drought stress monitoring,
(3) Assessment of crop phenological development,
(4) Crop acreage estimation and cropland mapping and
(5) For disturbances and land use/land cover (LULC) changes mapping.

Remote sensing techniques are largely used in agriculture and agronomy. The use of remote sensing technique is necessary for the monitoring of agricultural activities faces special problems. Agricultural production has been strong seasonal patterns related to the biological lifecycle of crops.

The production depends upon the physical landscapes like soil type, climatic driving variables and agricultural management practices. Moreover, the productivity can change within short time periods, due to unfavourable growing conditions, agricultural monitoring systems needs time to time.

This technique significantly contributes to providing a timely and accurate picture of the Agricultural sector and it is very suitable for collecting information from large areas with high revisit frequency.
It provides information for enhancing investments in agricultural monitoring systems.

For a close monitoring of agricultural production systems it is necessary, as agriculture must strongly increase its production for feeding purpose. It should provide information as early as possible during the growing seasons and updated periodically through the season until harvest.

Based on the provided information, stakeholders are enabled to take early decisions and identify geographically the areas with large variation about in production and productivity.

Remote sensing in Agriculture Resources

Remote sensing has various advantages in the field of agronomical research purpose. For the assessment of agricultural crop canopies it has provides valuable insights in the agronomic parameters also play an important role in crop classification, crop monitoring and yield assessment.

The monitoring of agricultural production system follows the strong seasonal patterns in relation with biological life cycle of crops. Other advanced techniques such as global positioning systems and geographical information systems are play a major role in the assessment and management of the agricultural activities.

These technologies have many applications in the field of agriculture such as crop acreage estimation, crop growth monitoring, soil moisture estimation, soil fertility evaluation, crop stress detection etc.

Remote sensing in Agriculture applications

During the early stages of the satellite remote sensing, most of the researchers are focuses on the use of data for classification of land cover types with crop types and other agricultural applications. In recent years, this technique has focused on characterization of plant biophysical properties and has been used in monitoring and analyzing of agricultural activities.

The advantage of Remote sensing in Agriculture is its ability to provide the repeated information without any destructive sampling of the crop, which can be used for providing information for precision agricultural applications.

This technology has been used for potential of revolutionizing the detection and characterization of agricultural productivity based on their bio-physical attributes of crops and/or soils. Crop monitoring at regular intervals of crop growth it is very necessary to take appropriate measures and the crop growth stages and its development are influenced by a variety of factors like soil moisture, planting dates, temperature of air, and conditions of soil.

The drought monitoring through satellite based information and the use of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Vegetation Condition Index(VCI) have been accepted globally for identifying agricultural drought in different regions.

Nutrient and water status

The most fields application of remote sensing and GIS (Remote sensing in Agriculture) through the application of precision farming are nutrient and water stress management.

For detection of nutrient stresses by using remote sensing and GIS helps us in site specific nutrient management through which reduces the cost of cultivation as well as increase the fertilizer use efficiency for the crops.In microwave remote sensing has made for the estimating of soil moisture availability in the field and information on crop water demand, water use, condition of soil moisture which is related to the growthof crops at different stages.

Crop evapo-transpiration

The decline in the productivity of crops is due to irregularities in rainfall, increase in the temperature rate etc., which decreases in the soil moisture. For the balance between precipitation and evapo-transpiration in a particular areas, the drought situation which also depends on the timely onset of monsoon as well as its potency. Remote sensing in Agriculture the assessment of irrigation scheduling, water and energy balance computations, determining crop water stress index (CWSI), dermatological and meteorological purposes..

Pest and disease infestation

This is an essential tool for monitoring and quantifying types of crop stress due to biotin and antibiotic factors. This technique methodologies perfected for identification of insect breeding grounds for developing strategies to prevent their spread and taking effective control measures.

For assessing and monitoring of insect defoliation has been used to relate differences in spectral responses to chloroforms, yellowing of leaves and foliage reduction over a given time period assuming that these differences can be correlated, classified and interpreted.

Crop yield and production forecasting

Remote sensing has been used to forecasting crop yields it is based on statistical relationships between yield and vegetation indices of crops. This technique provides information about production of crops before harvesting it is iessential for national food policy planning.

The crop yield is depend on many factors like crop variety, water and nutrient status of field, influence by weeds, pest and disease infestation, weather parameters.

The main aim of this farming which is reduced cost of cultivation, improvement in control and resource use efficiency with the help of received information by the sensors fitted in the farm machineries.

Yield Estimation

Remote sensing also used for forecasting the crop yields based primarily upon statistical–empirical relationships between yield and vegetation indices and information on expected yield is very important for government agencies and other marketing activities.

For early information is available, to reduce the lower economic risk, translating into greater efficiency and increased return on investments. For estimation of crop yield, in relationship between the index or indices and crop yield for the particular crop in the specific location the remote sensing used.

Plant Breeding Research

Plant breeders and other researchers uses many different scientific methods in their reaserch, ranging from direct measurement of grain or seed production to more complex techniques. Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy provides to the agricultural researcher with a non-destructive tool for plant, seed, and other agricultural product analysis.

Soil Analysis

From many of years, scientists have been used high-resolution reflectance spectra for determination of soil minerals and to assessing soil physical properties. The use of VIR spectroscopy for the development calibrations for rapid characterization of soil nutrients and other soil properties.

By coupling of this technology with remote sensing data, ground surveys and new statistical methods has resulted in the improved capability for large area soil assessments.

Data collected from remote sensing it provides monitoring weed infestations, damages caused by pests and plant pathogens, for quickly action on it.

For determination of fertilization needs for plants based on their nutrient content of crops and helps to increasing yields and improve the quality of harvested seeds and fruits, also important for improving the crop profitability.


Remote sensing in Agriculture


Remote sensing soil analysis


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