Precision Agriculture for Sustainability and Environmental Protection: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Precision Agriculture for Sustainability and Environmental Protection

1st Edition

Edited by Margaret Oliver, Thomas Bishop, Ben Marchant


304 pages | 100 B/W Illus.

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Book Content Available Open Access*
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*Open Access content has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license

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Precision agriculture (PA) involves the application of technologies and agronomic principles to manage spatial and temporal variation associated with all aspects of agricultural production in order to improve crop performance and environmental quality. The focus of this book is to introduce a non-specialist audience to the the role of PA in food security, environmental protection, and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as its economic benefits.

The technologies covered include yield monitors and remote sensing, and the key agronomic principles addressed are the optimal delivery of fertilizers, water and pesticides to crops only when and where these are required. As a result, it is shown that both food production and resource efficiency can be maximized, without waste or damage to the environment, such as can occur from excessive fertilizer or pesticide applications. The authors of necessity describe some technicalities about PA, but the overall aim is to introduce readers who are unfamiliar with PA to this very broad subject and to demonstrate the potential impact of PA on the environment and economy.

The book shows how farmers can place sustainability of the environment at the centre of their operations and that this is improved with the application of PA. The range of topics described includes sampling and mapping, weed and pest control, proximal and remote sensing, spatio-temporal analysis for improving management, management zones and water management. These are illustrated with case studies on sampling and mapping, biofuels from sugar cane and maize, paddy rice cultivation, and cotton production.

Chapter 3 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license.


This well-designed, four-part book, illustrated with black-and-white photos, contains helpful technical information on precision agriculture (PA). With contributors from North and South America, Australia, Europe, and Africa, the book offers a valuable international perspective.Summing Up: Highly recommended.

- M K Swan, emeritus, Washington State University, CHOICE Reviews September 2014

Table of Contents

Part 1: Precision Agriculture and Food Security

1. An Overview of Precision Agriculture

M. A. Oliver

2. The Role of Precision Agriculture in Food Production and Security

J. L. Hatfield and N. R. Kitchen

3. Improving Food Security Through Increasing the Precision of Agricultural Development

A. Gassner, R. Coe and F. Sinclair

Part 2: Techniques

4. Rational Management Decisions from Uncertain Spatial Data

B.P. Marchant, A.G. Dailey and R. Webster

5. Applications of Remote Sensing in Precision Agriculture for Sustainable Production

P.G. Carter and S. L. Young

6. Proximal Sensing

R. A. Viscarra Rossel and V. I. Adamchuk

7. Spatio-temporal Analysis to Improve Agricultural Management

A. Horta and T. F. A. Bishop

Part 3: Management

8. Site-specific Management and Delineating Management Zones

D. L. Corwin

9. Precision Weed Management

R. Gerhards

10. Site-Specific Irrigation Water Management

R. G. Evans and E. J. Sadler

11. The Economics of Precision Agriculture

B. P. Marchant, M. A. Oliver, T. F. A. Bishop and B. M. Whelan

12. Spatially Distributed Experimentation: Tools for the Optimization of Targeted Management

R. G. V. Bramley, R. A. Lawes and S. E. Cook

Part 4: Case Studies

CS1. Sampling and Mapping in Precision Agriculture

M. A. Oliver

CS2. Precision Agriculture in Sugarcane Production

J. P. Molin, G. Portz and L. R. do Amaral

CS3. Precision Rice Farming for Small-Scale Paddy Fields in Asia

B-W. Lee and K-J. Lee

CS4. Farmer Perceptions of Precision Agriculture for Fertilizer Management of Cotton

R. K. Roberts, J. A. Larson, B. C. English and J. C. Torbet

Future Prospects

M.A. Oliver, T.A. F. Bishop and B.P. Marchant

About the Editors

Margaret Oliver is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Reading, UK, and was for several years editor of the Journal of Precision Agriculture.

Thomas Bishop is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Ben Marchant is an Environmental Scientist at the British Geological Survey and was previously at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK.

About the Series

Earthscan Food and Agriculture

Earthscan Food and Agriculture
This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to food and agriculture, integrating perspectives from both social and natural sciences. It includes textbooks, research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Sustainable Agriculture