Precision agriculture aims to optimize field-level management by matching farming practices more closely to crop needs, by reducing environmental risks and footprint of farming, and by boosting competitiveness through more efficient practices.
Precision agriculture also provides farmers with a wealth of information to build up a record of their farm, improve decision-making, foster greater traceability, enhance marketing of farm products, and enhance the inherent quality of farm products.
Precision agriculture management practices can significantly reduce the amount of nutrients and other crop inputs used while boosting yields. Farmers thus obtain a return on their investment by saving on fertilizer costs. The second, larger-scale benefit of targeting inputs concerns environmental impacts. Applying the right amount of inputs in the right place and at the right time benefits crops, soils and groundwater, and thus the entire crop cycle. Consequently, precision agriculture has become a cornerstone of sustainable agriculture, since it respects crops, soils and farmers. Sustainable agriculture seeks to assure a continued supply of food within the ecological, economic and social limits required to sustain production in the long term. Precision agriculture therefore seeks to use high-tech systems in pursuit of this goal.