Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Deepthi Kolady


Adoption, Conservation agriculture, Precision agriculture technologies, South Dakota


Advances in conservation agriculture and precision agriculture technology practices have contributed to the adoption of conservation practices that reduce externalities from agricultural production, but this conversion was usually coupled with economic incentive, whether from increases in fertility and yield, or payments for on farm retirement or restoration practices. This study expands on this theme, evaluating the connection between conservation and the increased use of various precision agriculture technologies. The study uses survey data collected from South Dakota farmers and ranchers, with responses from 28 counties and over 500,000 acres of crop, pasture, and range land to address the following three objectives: 1) estimate the adoption rates of conservation agriculture and precision agricultural technology practices in South Dakota; 2) identify the factors influencing farmer’s adoption decisions; 3) examine the relationship between farmers’ adoption decisions on conservation agriculture and precision agricultural technology practices, and 4) conduct a qualitative analysis of farmers’ preferences and non-preferences for conservation agriculture and precision agriculture technology. Economic analysis using multinomial logit and bivariate probit models are employed to help identify the factors influencing adoption decisions and to examine the relationships between various conservation and precision bundles as well as an overall connection between the two practices. Results from the study show a significant positive relationship between adoption of conservation agriculture and cattle operations and a significant negative relationship between conservation agriculture and highly productive land. The study also reveals off-farm income negatively effects the more labor-intensive and capital-intensive practices such as diverse crop rotation and precision agriculture technologies. Findings from the study imply that targeting farmers with certain characteristics should be a goal of any policy wanting to increase adoption of any of these practices.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Agricultural conservation -- South Dakota.
Precision farming -- South Dakota.
Farmers -- South Dakota -- Attitudes.
Agricultural innovations.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright