Factors Affecting Farmer Perceived Challenges Towards Precision Agriculture

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Precision Agriculture (PA) manages field heterogeneities and enables informed site-specific management. While PA helps improve farming efficiency and profitability, challenges prior to and following PA adoption can prevent many farmers from widely using it. This paper aims to understand producers’ challenge perceptions using 1119 survey responses from U.S. Midwest farmers. The majority (59%) of respondents have adopted at least one PA technology, while the minority (14%) had not adopted any PA technologies. Cost (equipment and service fee), brand compatibility, and data privacy concerns topped other concerns from the average producer’s point of view. Among all producers, 60% regarded PA equipment and service fee as too high, followed by 50% who viewed brand compatibility and data privacy as their major concerns. Producers at more advanced adoption stage indicated reduced concerns in most categories. Yet, there were similar concerns towards data privacy issue regardless of the adoption status. Furthermore, brand compatibility issue is more of a concern for adopters than for non-adopters. Estimation results from partial proportional odds (PPO) models show that factors that frequently affect producers’ perceived challenges include adoption status, cropland acres, age, education, information sources, farming goals, soil characteristics, and region variables. Findings from this study can aid PA stakeholders in identifying target groups, tailoring future development, research, and outreach efforts, and ultimately promoting efficient PA usage on a broader scale.

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Precision Agriculture

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