PAMCoBA Project Overview
Many studies present economic and environmental benefits achieved through the introduction of Precision Agriculture Technologies (PATs). These benefits are mainly savings in fertilizer and herbicide costs, and higher crop yields. PATs include many technologies from sensing systems that map soil and crop variability to auto-guidance systems and farm management information systems. Among the PATs, Variable Rate Application (VRA) and Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) have a wide potential to improve agricultural performance, ranging from an improvement in the use of crop nutrients, to an increase in crop quality, to reduced overlaps and improved cost management. In order to reduce agricultural inputs and the related adverse effects on the environment, VRA focuses on the site-specific application of fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation water.
PAMCoBA envisages to develop and implement a comprehensive methodological approach that would/will facilitate the evaluation of adopting PA technologies, balancing expected initial investment, management costs and benefits.
The methodology will support cost-benefit analysis related to PA and will embrace four sets of evaluation namely:
- Financial performance and risk
- Strategic impact,
- Effects on fields operations
- Environmental impact and other social impacts.
PAMCoBA will support a broad range of farm operations, covering arable crops, orchards, vineyards, field and field vegetables. The evaluation protocol will be applicable to all operations that have been reported to be implementable through PA equipment or solutions. As currently reported, PA (specifically VRA and CTF applications) apply to all on-farm operations from tillage to harvesting.