Professor of Crop Production Science
Currently, the Yamagata University Faculty of Agriculture is conducting joint research with private corporations (Konica Minolta, Yanmar Heli & Agri, Ito Electronic) in which we used a drone to take photographs from 30 meters above agriculture land. We then used the photographs to analyze cultivation conditions and create a "farm field variability map." We are now developing an automatic dispersion system in which unmanned helicopters will disperse an appropriate amount of fertilizer based on variability.
The technological development introduced here will enable detailed measures for low-labor low-cost agriculture by reducing the labor burden for large-scale farms formed by the aggregation of farmland, for coping with the retirement of hardworking farmers, for response to an increase in meteorological disasters, and for promotion of agriculture based on environmental protection. Furthermore, these technological developments have the potential to contribute to stable harvests and better-tasting crops. We also aim to contribute to the protection of rice paddies which provide a variety of benefits to people and are part of the countryside scenery which is beloved by Japanese people, to the protection of food supplies, and to the preservation of Japan's unique culture of living in harmony with nature.
In the future, in addition to the current leaf-color diagnosis for rice paddies, we plan to apply a variety of sensing technologies in order to develop a diagnosis for all cultivation processes. Ultimately, we seek to move beyond rice paddies and apply this diagnosis method to all crops. We aim to contribute to the future of agriculture both in Japan and overseas.