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©European Commission's Audiovisual LibraryRecent food security issues such as BSE and foot & mouth disease have, together with discussions about genetically modified organisms, raised consumers’ concerns and affected confidence in food products. Farmers strive to improve quality, while respecting the environment.

Some examples of practical uses of GALILEO:

Chemical spraying

More and more chemicals are being used to increase productivity by controlling pest and weed infestation of crops. Yet, as we become increasingly aware of the environmental impact, there is a need for better management of agricultural land. Besides, spraying chemicals where they are not needed is costly and bad for the environment.

How can GALILEO help? Precise aircraft positioning enables the pilot to spray the herbicides, insecticides or fertilisers in the right places and in the correct quantities. Automatic control also produces a more even distribution, reducing the quantity used. A positioning accuracy of better than 1 m is required - and cm accuracy would be ideal. A GALILEO receiver installed on the spraying vehicles will link the system to a database with other field information. For example, maps can then be generated to show where the spraying occurred.

Crop yield monitoring

Yield monitoring leads not only to effective resource management and consequently significant return, but also contributes to safeguarding the environment. Better control is becoming an issue. Farmers need to be able to map the high- and low-yield areas of fields so that a varying application of chemicals can improve the yield with minimum environmental impact and cost. The yields of individual parcels of land can be monitored every season.

GALILEO positioning receivers on harvesters will lead to more automated systems and higher accuracy, drawing on the data stored in databases. By looking at yield maps, farmers can see where to take samples for analysis, with the positioning system allowing specific areas to be targeted.

Crop acreage and livestock tracking

Farmer with handheld; ©ESAKnowing which agricultural land is under crops and their exact areas is of key interest for managing and controlling subsidies. Precise measurements are the basis of the agricultural parcel registry. When farmers need to declare their actual cropped area, they normally rely on historical cadastre documents that show property lines, not the actual agricultural parcels that change every season. It is at this declaration stage when positioning information could be transformed into accurate surface area measurements. GALILEO could replace the traditional but imprecise, expensive and time-consuming measuring techniques using wheels and tapes. Furthermore, it would help to integrate measurements directly into Geographical Information Systems for better land-use management.

Farmers can also benefit by tracking their livestock more efficiently. Transponders linked to a central database would trace livestock and products at all stages of their production, preparation, transport and marketing. This could improve farmers' management of direct aid.

GALILEO Benefits

By integrating GALILEO with other technologies, the agriculture community can benefit from:
- improved monitoring of the distribution and dilution of chemicals;
- improved parcel yield from customised treatment;
- more efficient property management.

GALILEO Application Sheet: pdf Agriculture & Fisheries  (133 Kb)

dernière mise à jour : 10-02-2009