Precision agriculture: future of the CAP?

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Increasing yields and the quality of the production while reducing energy consumption and inputs or “produce more with less” is the principle of precision agriculture (PA).

Precision agriculture enables the modulation of cultural practices and doses inputs (seeds, fertilisers, plant protection products, water) based on the variability of soil and crop requirements.

Currently, 150 000 ha are managed in precision agriculture in France and 50% of crop farms have a tractor with console. One farm out of four is able to modulate its provision of fertilisers and pesticides.

Nevertheless, precision agriculture in Europe faces particular challenges because of the size and diversity of agricultural structures. The deployment on a larger scale requires the acquisition of new agronomic references and improved decision rules.

In this respect, the new Common Agricultural Policy could play a significant role in providing EU member states some innovative instruments and new measures.

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