A Swedish company has launched a satellite-based system that is designed to reduce nitrogen waste in farming by up to 40%.
It focuses on the over-fertilisation of crops by analysing the satellite images of farmers’ fields and providing them with detailed and up-to-date nitrogen prescriptions.
Vultus – the firm that has developed the technology – estimates that blanket field spreading sees as much as 60% of nitrogen fertiliser going to waste, which has obvious implications for the crops and the health of the surrounding environment.
Analysing the images allows the company to identify the different conditions and nutrient needs within them, providing farmers with easy-to-follow nitrogen recommendations.
The plant health analysis, including satellite images and fertiliser prescriptions, costs €5 (£4.40) a hectare a year as a seasonal subscription.
If the recommendations reach the ambitious-sounding target of slashing nitrogen usage by 40%, then the savings over 250ha could be up to €15,000 (£13,195) annually.