Researchers from University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources visit a grassland bird study site in southwestern Wisconsin. Photo by AERG.
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers find that a new and multidisciplinary approach to use of environmental data in agriculture is urgently needed if the industry is to increase production while reducing its environmental impact. See recent article in EnvironmentalResearchWeb: http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/news/45576.
ABSTRACT. Information on the life-cycle environmental impacts of agricultural production is often limited. As demands grow for increasing agricultural output while reducing its negative environmental impacts, both existing and novel data sources can be leveraged to provide more information to producers, consumers, scientists and policy makers. We review the components and organization of an agroecological sensor web that integrates remote sensing technologies and in situ sensors with models in order to provide decision makers with effective management options at useful spatial and temporal scales for making more informed decisions about agricultural productivity while reducing environmental burdens. Several components of the system are already in place, but by increasing the extent and accessibility of information, decision makers will have the opportunity to enhance food security and environmental quality. Potential roadblocks to implementation include farmer acceptance, data transparency and technology deployment.
Zaks, DPM and CJ Kucharik. 2011. Data and monitoring needs for a more ecological agriculture. Environmental Research Letters 6:14-17. Full text.