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Smart Agriculture ›› 2019, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (4): 12-30.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.2019.1.4.201909-SA003

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Perspectives and experiences on the development and innovation of agricultural aviation and precision agriculture from the Mississippi Delta and recommendations for China

Huang Yanbo   

  1. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Crop Production Systems Research Unit (CPSRU), Stoneville, MS38776, USA
  • Received:2019-09-24 Revised:2019-11-22 Online:2019-10-30 Published:2019-12-24


Crop production management has advanced into the stage of smart agriculture, which is driven by state-of-the-art agricultural information technology, intelligent equipment and massive data resources. Smart agriculture inherits ideas from precision agriculture and brings agricultural production and management from mechanization and informalization to intelligentization with automatization. Precision agriculture has been developed from strategic monitoring operations in the 1980s to tactical monitoring and control operations in the 2010s. In its development, agricultural aviation has played a key role in serving systems for spray application of crop protection and production materials for precision agriculture with the guidance of global navigation through geospatial prescription mapping derived from remotely-sensed data. With the development of modernized agriculture, agricultural aviation is even more important for advancing precision agricultural practices with more efficient soil and plant health sensing and more prompt and effective system actuation and action. This paper overviews the status of agricultural aviation for precision agriculture to move toward smart agriculture, especially in the Mississippi Delta region, one of the most important agricultural areas in the U.S. The research and development by scientists associated with the Mississippi Delta region are reported. The issues, challenges and opportunities are identified and discussed for further research and development of agricultural aviation technology for next-generation precision agriculture and smart agriculture.

Key words: aerial application technology, agricultural aviation, big data, precision agriculture, remote sensing, smart agriculture

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