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How Prescription Maps Revolutionize Farming

Updated: Jun 6

Prescription Maps

Introduction to Prescription Maps


Ever wondered how farmers keep up with the demands of modern agriculture? It's not just about hard work anymore; it's about working smart. Enter the world of prescription maps, a groundbreaking tool that's changing the face of farming. Prescription maps are like having a GPS for your farm, guiding the tractor to provide the right amount of seed, fertilizer and water. They take the guesswork out of farming, helping you make precise decisions that lead to healthier crops and higher yields. Imagine having a detailed plan tailored to every inch/hectares of your land. That's the magic of prescription maps!


So, what exactly are prescription maps? They're digital map that provide specific recommendations for different areas of your field. In order to create the prescription maps we need to collect and fuse data from various sources like soil sensors, satellite imagery, and drones to create detailed maps. Based on the spatial temporal variation of the different data collected, then we can create homogeneous areas where we can set the amount of seeds, fertilizers and wat to apply. This technology helps in reducing waste, saving money, and boosting crop productivity. By embracing prescription maps, you're stepping into the future of farming, where every decision is backed by data and precision.


Benefits of Prescription Maps


The benefits of the prescription maps is all about "planning before to act". Planning the seed, fertilizer and phytopharmaceutical product dose before to go to the field allow to get several benefits, which are:


  1. Boosted Crop Yields, Precision agriculture helps you understand your fields better, by doing so, you can provide the right amount of input ensuring the optimal growth. Prescription maps tell you exactly where to plant, water, and fertilize. This means healthier plants and higher income.

  2. Cost Savings, Why waste money on seeds, water, and fertilizer for areas that don't need it? Precision agriculture helps you apply resources only where they're needed. This way, you can cut down on unnecessary expenses and increase the ROI (Return On Investment) of the provided input.

  3. Environmental Protection, Precision agriculture reduces the use of chemicals, which means fewer pollutants running off into rivers and streams. By using prescription maps to apply fertilizers and pesticides more accurately, you can be a better steward of the environment.

  4. Time Efficiency, Imagine that you have a farm consisting of 3 far-flung corporate bodies. When preparing to do crop operations, we often don't start with the right amount of fertilizer from the fleet because we can't estimate the total needed amount of fertilizer. With prescription maps we avoid this by planning in advance the dose to be provided. avoids making unnecessary turns.

  5. Data-Driven Decisions, With precision agriculture, you get detailed insights about your fields. This data helps you make smarter decisions, improving your farm’s productivity. Prescription maps are just one way to visualize and act on this valuable information. So, if you're ready to take your farming to the next level, embrace precision agriculture. Your wallet, the environment, and your crops will all be better for it!


Digital Fields

Technological Tools for Mapping


The types of data sources for applying precision agriculture technologies are many, and they have distinct characteristics and purposes. So knowing them and knowing which ones to use for your specific case is mandatory. Below we leave you a list of available technologies. This list is constantly evolving, so visit this site in a month and surely something has changed.


  • Soil Data & Geostatistical Approach, one of the most useful information to define the right dose of agronomic input are the soil data. But in order for soil data to be used in the context of precision agriculture, it must be acquired with GPS, which allows the spatial location of the sample to be able to be determined. Knowing the spatial location then it is possible to interpolate using geostatistical approaches and generate maps of variability in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and organic matter content. With these data, it is then possible to perform a spatial agronomic budget to determine the correct dose to be provided to the crop.

  • Electromagnetic probe - Geoelectric sensors, are used to do characterization of the spatial variability of soil. Think of them as the x-rays that are done in hospitals. They can measure the electrical conductivity of soil, and that information can be useful for generating prescription maps but also planning soil sampling points in each variability zone. This allows you to know your soil in detail, and by knowing it you can make targeted and precise agronomic practices.

  • Satellite Images, There are so many satellites orbiting the earth today that take pictures over our fields, and such data are of critical importance. Satellites can be equipped with different sensors such as multispectral, thermal, hyperspectral and SAR cameras. and each has its own specific functionality and application. We at automatic farm solution dialogue daily with satellites and provide with this useful information for better agronomic management of your fields. If you want to learn how we use satellite images please read this article.

  • UAV - Drone Images, If satellites can be far away and return data with a spatial resolution of 1 meter up to 30 meters, on the other hand, drones we can get to a spatial resolution of centimeters. This is the great strength of the use of drones for the monitoring part, but today they are gradually increasing the possible solutions of drones for the distribution of plant protection products, fertilizers and auxiliary insects.

  • IoT Wheater Cabin, Data from meteorological booths will never wane. This data is critically important to know the microclimate that is exactly on the field you are growing. We have had experiences in the past where even though the weather indicated a certain temperature, air humidity, and precipitation, these were completely different than the data taken from a cabin in the vicinity of the field to be grown. Pay attention, we have seen even differences of 10 degrees celsius and over 5 mm of rainfall.

  • Harvest data, Yield data from continuous weighing combines are gold mines if you have the capacity to be able to process it. We process tens of hundreds of yield maps each harvest, and we have noticed that some times the yield maps report very strange data, so knowing how to purify such data from outliers is our task. Furthermore, with this information we can easily generate prescription maps that are related to the potential yield achievable in the fields.


Common Mistakes to Avoid


The most important mistake to avoid is thinking that technology directly answers all problems. No bigger mistake cannot be made. The data generated by these technologies must be interpreted by agronomists or agricultural technicians who know the crop, crop development and its relative needs. These technologies accompanied by the interpretation of agronomists and land surveyors are the key to the successful application of precision agriculture technologies and prescription maps.


In addition, a key aspect of prescription maps is the determination of the dose to be associated with each zone. There are various methods, but the method that allows determination of the correct dose is and will forever remain the use of the agronomic nutrient balance which need the soil samples that can be acquired by using a smart soil sampling strategy that we have applied over 23.000 ha.


AI Prescription Map


As you have understood, the creation of prescription maps requires 360-degree knowledge relating to the technology to be used, knowing the data and as such it must be processed and knowing how to best apply it. We at Automatic Farm Solution, after over 7 years of experience, have created an "AI Prescription Map" tool that allows you to generate the perfect prescription map. This system is based on artificial intelligence which is based on some direct questions that allows you to understand which is the best prescription map to apply for your specific field.


Before making it public to you, this methodology was published in international scientific journals which allowed us to publish two articles:


Here below you can find one of our results published in international journal


Zone Management

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Case Studies in Successful Mapping


If you want to see a tangibile results please take look at the following video that represent the application of prescription map that is related to the left field of the previous figure.





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