COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio farmers have rapidly adopted precision agriculture technology, with about 50 percent of them incorporating at least one component in their production system. But how satisfied are they with the equipment and the results?
Ohio State University's Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics is surveying Ohio farmers to better understand precision agriculture adoption and the extent to which farmers are happy with using the technology. The "2010 Ohio Farming Practices Survey" is currently under way and is intended to explore farmers' use of various crop production technologies.
"Our goal is to improve our knowledge of what new production methods farmers are using and how satisfied they are with these methods," said Marvin Batte, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural economist. "We are particularly interested in the use of precision farming technology."
Precision farming technology consists of a number of data-driven components, such as yield monitors, grid soil sampling, variable rate technology, auto steer, global positioning systems and detailed field maps created from geographic information systems.
"These systems have become popular because they are getting easier to use, are less expensive, improve operational efficiency, and provide time and labor savings," said Florian Diekmann, an assistant professor for Ohio State University Libraries and a collaborator in the survey project. "But precision farming technology also adds complexity to farmers' information management processes because the technology is intrinsically information and data intensive and often requires specialized knowledge and scientific expertise that is not always available to farmers."
Diekmann said the results of the survey would provide information about new and emerging production practices and present a benchmark of how Ohio farmers have evaluated these production methods.
Preliminary data results are expected sometime in April.