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Best of NAMA 2024


Editor's note by Eric Sfiligoj, CropLife magazine:

The CropLife/Purdue Precision Survey is the longest-running continuous study of precision farming adoption, conducted at least every other year since 1996. The 108 agricultural retailer input supplier respondents mostly from the Midwest included cooperatives, independent retailers, and those part of a regional or national chain. Those answering as a farm equipment dealer or consultant in the first question were not allowed to continue.

The results reported are for dealers that identified as primarily working with field crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, cotton, milo, sugar beets, and forages. Dealers that work with specialty crops such as tree fruits and nuts, vegetables, berries, and grapes are analyzed separately.

A full report detailing all of the 2024 results will be posted online later this year. The full report from the 2023 survey, and also previous years, can be accessed here

by Bruce Erickson is the Agronomy Education Distance and Outreach Director at Purdue University and James Lowenberg-DeBoer is the Elizabeth Creak Chair of Agri-Tech Applied Economics at Harper Adams University, Newport, UK.

New forms of digital technology are making their presence known on farms and the businesses that support them, according to data from 2024 Precision Agriculture Dealership Survey. These include new applications of automation, using UAVs/drones for input applications, and of course artificial intelligence (AI) -- where everyone wants to play now! Who is using them, and why? Understanding their use and value can seem more complicated than our more familiar precision practices.

In recent years we have reported mostly on long-time, foundational precision ag -- yield monitors/mapping, GPS guided precision soil sampling, variable rate applications, satellite/aerial imagery, auto guidance, all originating in the 1990s. With many of the foundational technologies either maturing with widespread adoption or in a state of stagnation, for the 2024 survey we decided to focus more on the new and what is possibly headed our direction.

Adoption of the New

Many dealers have plans for these new technologies (Figure 1). About a third say they are currently offering crop inputs (such as a pesticide) applied with a UAV/drone -- but fully half say they will be offering this in three years, a remarkable rise from three years ago. Robotics for soil sampling, crop scouting, and for crop weeding are only offered by a small percentage of dealers now, but more dealers plan to offer these in the future. Artificial intelligence that identifies weeds for spraying is offered by just 11% of dealers now, but a quarter say they will offer this service three years out.

Other topics covered include:

Attitudes on Automation/Robotics

Dealer Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence

UAV/Drone Applications

Profitability Of Precision Offerings

To read the entire report click here.

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