... application of information technologies, together with production experience, to optimise production efficiency, optimise quality, minimise environmental impact and minimise risk - all at the site-specific level.
This is not a particularly new concept in agriculture with essays on this topic dating from the early 18th century. What is new is the scale at which we are able to implement these aims. Prior to the industrial revolution, agriculture was generally conducted on small fields with farmers often having a detailed knowledge of their production system without actually quantifying the variability. The movement towards mechanical agriculture, and the profit margin squeeze, has resulted in the latter half of the 20th century being dominated by large-scale uniform “average” agricultural practices. The advance of technology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, has allowed agriculture to move back towards site-specific agriculture whilst retaining the economies of scale associated with ‘large’ operations.