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 The use of spatial data for integrated agricultural planning and management

The use of climatic data could help in providing tools for proper pest management through the possibility of forecasting the incidence of pests and diseases, and hence reduce the risk in plant production and help to minimize the amounts of chemicals used to control pests.

Prof Dr. Ayman Abou Hadid
Director, Arid Lands Agricultural Research and Services Center (ALARC), Ain Shams University and Supervisor, Division of Agricultural Applications and Marine Sciences, National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS), Cairo, Egypt;

The agricultural production depends on the utilization of natural resources for intensive cropping systems. Plant production actually is a function of several climatic and edaphic factors. The use of climatic data for the estimation of water requirements is a major tool to rationalize water consumption. Estimating evapotranspiration from the climatic data is a well established technique. The problem is the need to have surface agro-meteorological equipment on the location, which is expensive especially in remote areas where new land reclamation projects take place.

The aim of this work was to establish a polynomial fitting for the air temperature based on hourly climatic measurements as a first step. The second step was to have a correlation between air temperature and canopy temperature for different agricultural conditions. Having these two algorithms allows the researcher to use the NOAA satellite images to calculate canopy temperature and transform it to air temperature, then using the air temperature parameter to calculate evapotranspiration.

Climatic factors affect the crop water requirements, time of cultivation, length of crop stand in the field, tolerance to pests and diseases, economic viability of agricultural production, and finally the total yield and product quality. The starting point of any agricultural development is to understand the prevailing climate. Early planting is one of the options for summer-cultivated crops in order to get the maximum economical yield. Early prediction for diseases and insects is important to help the farmers avoid heavy spray of pesticides and take necessary actions to avoid diseases. The use of climatic data could help in providing tools for proper pest management through the possibility of forecasting the incidence of pests and diseases, and hence reduce the risk in plant production and help to minimize the amounts of chemicals used to control pests.

Agricultural decision support system with mathematical and logical models is linked with a Geographical Information System (GIS) to provide tools for planning the land utilization and resource management options. The advantage of using spatial data for the calculation of evapotranspiration is the wide coverage of large areas especially in new land reclamation projects where it is difficult to establish surface stations. The results showed a high potential for using this approach to estimate irrigation requirements at low cost and for wide areas of land.

For more details please contact ICARDA at the contact link above. (Link will be active for registered users only)

© International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), 2006

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Meeting information

Eighth International Conference on Dryland Development

Keywords associated to this article: agriculture; climate; water; evapotranspiration
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