Micro-Level Management of Agricultural Inputs: Emerging Approaches
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Through the development of superior plant varieties that benefit from high agrochemical inputs and irrigation, the agricultural Green Revolution has doubled crop yields, yet introduced unintended impacts on environment. An expected 50% growth in world population during the 21st century demands novel integration of advanced technologies and low-input production systems based on soil and plant biology, targeting precision delivery of inputs synchronized with growth stages of crop plants. Further, successful systems will integrate subsurface water, air and nutrient delivery, real-time soil parameter data and computer-based decision-making to mitigate plant stress and actively manipulate microbial rhizosphere communities that stimulate productivity. Such an approach will ensure food security and mitigate impacts of climate change.