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This book presents cases from different countries with a main focus on the perspectives of using precision farming in Europe. Divided into 12 chapters it. Because of the multidisciplinary character of precision agriculture, books published on this subject differ in their content. The first books on this topic appeared in. Best 9 books on What is Precision Agriculture Technology the science, art, of farming at the micro-level to produce better results at the.

Variable-rate application equipment is perhaps the most widely used preci- sion agriculture technology.

About 1, flotation fertilizer-application systems, map-driven variable-rate technology VRT systems, and on-the-go sensor trac- tor-based application systems have been sold. Grid soil sampling also appears to be among the more popular precision agriculture technologies. The same Purdue University study found that 29 per- cent of the agricultural chemical dealers responding to the survey were pulling grid samples for their customers, whereas 15 percent were mapping fields Akridge and Whipker, Computers are a central component of information-intensive agriculture.

Fewer than 10 percent of the 1.

Commercial yield monitors are available for corn, soy- bean, and wheat harvesting. Approximately 2, yield monitors cumulative were in use in the growing season. This figure increased to about 9, in Midwest corn and soybean growers are currently the major buyers A. Meyers, Ag. Leader Technology, personal communication, June 13, Diffusion of New Technologies There is a large body of economic and sociological literature on technology adoption in general, as well as on information-intensive agricultural technologies such as computers, integrated pest management IPM , low-volume irrigation systems drip, center-pivot, and other sprinkler systems , and the California Irri- gation Management Information System CIMIS , which combines localized weather information with field-level soil moisture monitoring to improve irriga- tion management.

The history of the diffusion of these earlier information-inten- sive technologies offers insights into the likely prospects for current precision agriculture technologies. It has long been recognized that new technologies diffuse gradually. Techno- logical diffusion typically follows an S-shaped path over time. In the early years after a new technology is introduced, it is generally used by only a small percent- age of those who could benefit from using it.

As time passes, the rate of adoption tends to increase and diffusion becomes more rapid. Finally, after the majority of those who stand to benefit from using the technology have begun using it, the rate of diffusion slows again.

It is important to distinguish between two key variables characterizing the diffusion process: the extent or ceiling of adoption and the rate of adoption. The adoption ceiling pertains to the long term, when the diffusion process approaches completion. The rate of adoption pertains to the short term, while the diffusion process is in progress. The adop- tion ceiling is influenced almost entirely by economic factors.

In the short term, however, the rate of adoption is influenced by factors such as learning, risk and risk preferences, information, and human capital as well as by profitability con- siderations.

However, adoption of any farming technology is unlikely to be universal because agriculture is characterized by a high degree of heterogeneity. Farming conditions vary markedly among regions and crops because of differ- ences in climate, soils, topography, water availability, government programs, and other factors. As a result, the profitability of any given agricultural technology may differ greatly across regions and crops, so that producers in one region find unprofitable what producers in another find extremely profitable.

Precision Agriculture

Differences in climate are arguably the major source of heterogeneity in ag- riculture. They lead to differences in crop productivity and thus in the long-term profitability of adopting new agricultural technologies.

In his classic study, Griliches found that ceiling rates of hybrid corn adoption varied across states. Ceiling rates in the Corn Belt approached percent but were much lower in states with lower corn productivity.

Differences in climate also result in differences in pest pressure that affect ceiling rates of IPM adoption. For ex- ample, the use of scouting services for cotton crops is more prevalent in the Delta states than in Texas or California Economic Research Service, b , which are drier and are thus less subject to pest pressure.

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Differences in land quality i. For example, low-volume irrigation technolo- gies drip and center-pivot increase the efficiency of water use more on land with sandy soils and greater slopes and thus are more likely to be adopted by producers operating those types of land Caswell and Zilberman, ; Dinar et al. Adoption of conservation tillage has similarly been more widespread among pro- ducers operating more erodible land Economic Research Service, a; Ervin and Ervin, ; Gould et al.

Differences in cost structure are frequently another source of differences in ceiling adoption rates. For example, use of low-volume irrigation technologies is more widespread in areas where water prices are higher, so that savings in water costs are more likely to outweigh initial investment costs for drip systems Caswell and Zilberman, ; Dinar and Yaron, ; Dinar et al.

The use of computer services is more widespread among dairy operators than other kinds of producers because computerization reduces the management time and cost involved in herd improvement Huffman and Mercier, ; Putler and Zilberman, Information-intensive technologies such as low-volume irrigation or chemi- gation frequently increase yield.

For example, adoption of drip irrigation systems has been greater for higher-value crops Caswell and Zilberman, ; Dinar et al. Adoption of drip irrigation for sugar in Hawaii has been greater on farms where yield differentials between drip and sprinkler systems are higher Shrestha and Gopalokrishnan, Adoption of center-pivot irrigation systems in the High Plains has been greater for corn than wheat or sorghum be- cause corn yields are more responsive to irrigation Lichtenberg, New agricultural technologies may spur expanded production of specific crops or livestock.

Thus, the number of potential adopters of these new technolo- gies may exceed the number of producers currently in the industry. Similarly, the extent of adoption i.

New farming methods have fre- quently allowed expansion of cultivation into areas that were previously consid- ered unsuitable. Examples include irrigated corn production on the sandy soils of the High Plains through use of center-pivot irrigation Lichtenberg, and expansion of orchards and vineyards onto hilly areas in California through use of drip and sprinkler systems Caswell and Zilberman, New agricultural technologies may also turn out to have advantages that were largely unanticipated when they were introduced.

As a result, ceiling adoption may differ significantly from initial expectations. For example, sprinkler irriga- tion is used in preference to drip systems for citrus in California because it pro- vides frost protection Caswell and Zilberman, Frost protection is simi- larly an important motivation for the use of CIMIS, which was designed mainly to improve irrigation scheduling Parker and Zilberman, Less is known about the performance of newly introduced technologies be- cause producers lack experience using them.

Initially, only a few producers will find using them worthwhile. These early adopters tend to have greater human capital or be more accepting of risk.

Other producers may believe that the new technologies will not be profitable enough to justify the cost of adopting them the cost of new equipment, plus the costs of restructuring farm operations and training or may be too averse to risk to adopt the new technologies even if they appear to be more profitable until the expected improvement in profit is large enough to outweigh the risk.

Aversion to risk may also lead producers to test new technologies partially at first i. Larger operators may be more diversified against risk and thus be more willing to test out new technologies partially. Finally, some producers may find the new technologies less profitable than current technologies given the productivity of their existing capital stock Salter, As producers gain experience with the use of the new technology, either directly or through improved information, estimates of the return to using them tend to rise whereas perceptions of their risk tend to fall.

Perceptions of risk and return for new technologies change over time in response to several factors. The first such factor is the rate at which information about a new technology spreads to potential users.

Precision Farming: Soil Fertility and Productivity Aspects

The classic model treats the process of information flow as proceeding largely through word-of-mouth, so that it mimics the spread of an epidemic. The greater the potential profitability of a new technology, the faster information about it is disseminated Mansfield, In agriculture, tech- nology-transfer programs within cooperative extension services and marketing by equipment manufacturers, dealers, and consultants all work to spread informa- tion about new technologies.

Potential profitability affects the flow of informa- tion and thus the speed of diffusion through its effect on marketing efforts. Buy eBook.

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Buy Hardcover. Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book This book presents cases from different countries with a main focus on the perspectives of using precision farming in Europe.

Show all. Pages Robotic Seeding: Show next xx. Recommended for you.By managing for variability with precision farming, farmers can increase profitability and improve environmental services. Economics and Policy Implications E. Recommend this book to a librarian. Precision Agriculture presents the latest scientific results from worldwide research, field studies and practical application.

If little variability exists, the use of variable rate technology will have a minimal ability to improve yields.

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