Crop management is the agricultural practices used to improve the growth, development, and yield of agricultural crops. The combination, timing, and sequence of the practices used depend on the biological characteristics of the crops, the harvested form, the sowing form, the age of the plants, and the soil, climatic, and weather conditions.
The questions of where farmers receive information on new or more efficient crop management practices, and whether publicly sponsored research has any impact, have received only limited attention. The importance of research aimed at generating improved crop management practices becomes clear when the "poor but efficient" hypothesis is considered. The hypothesis implies that, in a traditional production system, efficient methods of employing a limited number of inputs have evolved over a period of perhaps several generations.
There are relatively few interventions that have attempted combining provision of new varieties, crop management, and changing nutritionally related behavior in the household. Even fewer have collected and analyzed relevant cost and benefit data for assessing whether the intervention is cost-effective. This dearth of information has hampered investment in food-based initiatives compared to other approaches to combating micronutrient malnutrition as supplementation and food fortification programs have more readily definable benefits and costs structures than do integrated agriculture-nutrition initiatives.
The LACIE and AgRISTARS programs not only produced robust methods for regional crop identification and condition assessment, but also defined the physics of relations between spectral measurements and biophysical properties of crop canopies and soils. It was widely recognized that this basic scientific and technical knowledge had great potential to be used by farmers for making day-to-day management decisions.
Recent developments in computer, satellite, and agricultural equipment technology are making it possible for farmers to undertake site-specific crop management instead of whole-field management. Site-specific crop management allows farmers to capture spatially referenced data about nutrient content and soil quality in the field and use computerized equipment that is precisely controlled by satellites to "farm by the inch." Site-specific crop management consists of several component technologies that are also referred to as site-specific technologies, which include highly engineered technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS), computer-controlled variable rate technologies (VRT) for fertilizer and pesticide application, and geo-referenced yield mapping systems with computerized data storage, as well as technically simpler technologies such as soil sampling, plant tissue testing, and pest scouting.
Integrated Crop Management (ICM) is a pragmatic approach to the production of crops, unlike Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which focuses on crop protection, ICM includes more aspects. This can include such things as IPM, soil, social and environmental management. Over recent decades the focus on crop production has moved from yields to quality and safety, then more recently sustainability, which results in new challenges for farmers and growers each season.
Modern agriculture must produce high yields, and this is possible when intensely cultivated fields alternate with natural habitats in which countless animal and plant species thrive. Integrated Crop Management aims to reconcile the economic demands on agriculture with environmental protection. The coexistence of agricultural land and wildlife sanctuaries is also an important aspect of this principle.
Crop management is the art and science of controlling or directing crop production. Its objective is to provide useful food and fiber products for society at reasonable costs to the consumer and with an acceptable margin
of profit for the producer. In its largest sense, crop management is an ecological activity relevant to agronomy, horticulture, forestry, economics, and sociology.
In the Western World we are fortunate enough to have a plentiful supply of wholesome, high quality food at affordable prices. Spectacular improvements in agricultural efficiency and productivity over the last 50 years have made this possible. Faced with the challenge of an increasing demand for food and a steady loss of productive land to industrial and urban growth, farming methods have become more sophisticated. By the skilful adoption of new technologies in machinery, plant breeding, fertilisers and pesticides, farmers have matched supply to demand.
If the ‘Crop Management System’ designed and implemented by Shivaprakash of Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) goes live, farmers can get all necessary details on their mobile phones. Explaining the system, Shivaprakash said that an interface is provided on the mobile phone through which a farmer can enter details such as his name, address, the date of sowing and the type of soil. These details will be transferred to a server in the Nokia Research Lab located at SJCE.
When we manage soils for crop production, we are also managing the habitat in which earthworms and other organisms live. Management practices affect earthworm populations by affecting food supply (location, quality, quantity), mulch protection (affects soil water and temperature), and chemical environment (fertilizers and pesticides). By considering how these factors are changed in different management systems, we can often predict the general effects on earthworm populations for systems that have not been studied.