How much does precision agriculture cost


The common technologies associated with precision farming include computer hardware and software, GPS and yield monitoring equipment, and equipment for variable rate applications. The cost for these technologies can range from several thousands of dollars to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.

On a 750-acre cotton farm, the total cost of a precision farming operation would be less than $12/acre. If acreage is expanded to 2,750 acres and some grain production is included, the cost drops to almost $9.00/acre.Oct 18, 2005


Is precision agriculture worth the cost?

Among corn farmers using these four precision agriculture technologies, those using yield mapping independently or with VRT reported the largest cost savings (about $25 per acre). Yield monitors collect information on growing conditions throughout the year that are reflected in yields, and yield variability across a farmer’s fields gives a rich source of information on the …

How to start a precision agriculture business?

 · Precision Agriculture: Higher Profit, Lower Cost. Soybean growers are rapidly adopting precision technologies because they make their farming operations cost less, allowing them greater profit. This is clear result of a recent survey of soybean growers conducted by the PrecisionAg Institute in cooperation with the American Soybean Association …

What will precision agriculture look like in 10 years?

BOSTON, MA – December 17, 2013 – Precision agriculture is a quantified approach to cultivation that employs sensing, input modulation, and data analytics to enhance the efficiency of agriculture and increased crop yields. While individual tools are not typically cost-effective, and often not relevant for small farms, combining these technologies into integrated solutions for …

How can precision agriculture help farmers increase fertility?

 · Precision agriculture is a quantified approach to cultivation that employs sensing, input modulation, and data analytics to enhance the …


Is precision agriculture cost effective?

BOSTON, MA – December 17, 2013 – Precision agriculture is a quantified approach to cultivation that employs sensing, input modulation, and data analytics to enhance the efficiency of agriculture and increased crop yields.

How much does Smart Farming cost?

In a nutshell, the price can vary from $25,000–$150,000.

What is needed for precision agriculture?

Precision agriculture is a systems approach to farming. To be viable, both economic and environmental benefits must be considered, as well as the practical questions of field-level management and the needed alliances to provide the infrastructure for technologies.

What are the cons of precision agriculture?

DisadvantagesInitial capital costs may be high and so it should be seen as a long-term investment.It may take several years before you have sufficient data to fully implement the system.Extremely demanding work particularly collecting and then analysing the data.

What is the income of a farmer?

Out of the total average, income from wages is ₹4,063, followed by cultivation /net receipt from crop production ( ₹3,798), net receipt from farming of animals ( ₹1,582), net receipt from non-farm business ( ₹641) and income from leasing out of land ( ₹134).

How many farmers use precision agriculture?

In its Farm Computer Usage and Ownership Report released last month, the USDA asked farmers about the utilization of precision-agriculture practices for the first time, finding that only 25% of U.S. farmers are using precision-ag technologies to manage crops or livestock.

What are the pros and cons of using precision agriculture?

For the precision farmers, the most important advantages of this technology are better organization and yield increase (in quantity and in quality) and the increase in profit. The most important disadvantages are the increase of human resource demand and working time.

Is precision farming sustainable?

Precision agriculture leverages technologies to enhance sustainability through more efficient use of land, water, fuel, fertilizer and pesticides. Essentially, farmers who use precision agriculture technologies use less to grow more, reducing both cost and environmental impact.

What are the pros of using precision agriculture?

Precision agriculture is a term widely used today in the industry and essentially refers to technology and software systems that provide knowledge to enhance decision making, and if used properly can help contribute to reduced waste, increased profits, and protection of the environment.

What is the scope of precision farming?

Scope and Adoption of Precision Farming in India: For small farms, precision agriculture may help in sub-surface drip irrigation for precise water and fertilizer application and robots for weed control, harvesting and other operations.

How to estimate cost savings from precision agriculture?

To estimate the cost savings from use of precision agriculture technologies in corn production, ERS researchers analyzed factors related to technology adoption and corn production practices. Researchers accounted for the effects of acres farmed, level of higher education of the operator, and age of the operator. Per acre production cost was measured as operating costs for seed, fertilizer, pesticides, paid and unpaid labor, machinery expenses (not capital investments), fuel and repairs, and custom service expenses.

What are the four technologies used in agriculture?

According to USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, four technologies are the most commonly used: yield mapping, soil mapping, auto-guidance machinery steering, and variable rate technologies (VRT). The first three of these technologies can be used independently of each other.

Why are information based production technologies so popular?

Information-based production (precision agriculture) technologies are growing in popularity with farmers because their use can lead to closer monitoring of farm-production management decisions and possible cost savings.

How much does VRT yield mapping save?

Guidance systems save fuel and wear on machines through easier management of field activities. Reduced operator fatigue and other stress-related factors are hard to measure and their effects are not accounted for in the cost savings from guidance systems. Relative to total per acre production costs, the estimated savings are 4.5 percent with yield mapping, 2.4 percent with GPS soil mapping, 2.7 percent with guidance systems, and between 3.7 and 3.9 percent with VRT.

How many acres are used for precision farming?

Findings show that most growers, particularly those with more than 500 total acres, are using several precision farming technologies.

How much does a farmer save on fertilizer?

Growers report an average savings of about 15% on several crop inputs such as seed, fertilizer and chemicals.

Why do growers move to 40 foot spacing?

Typically, 80-foot spacing in a field was considered well tiled, but now growers are moving to 40-foot spacing to increase drainage and improve overall yields.

Can you use a boom control to test fungicides?

Some growers surveyed are now routinely planting half of their planter to one variety and half to another. Yield maps show which one did best, and make decisions for next year easier. But growers can also use variable-rate and automatic boom control to test the effect of fungicides or fertilizer rates on yield, moisture content, and other factors. All it takes is the time to enter the proper data when you are applying the materials and taking a look at your yield maps at the end.

Can you use a 10 acre plot for whole field?

Farmers often complain that one acre or even 10-acre plots are no match for whole field information. But precision technology allows growers to turn this one around, encouraging farmers to conduct whole field experiments on their farms.

How much does seed control save?

Swath control and seed command can easily save 10% to 15% in seed costs. The heavier you plant, the greater the savings. Payback can be within the first year for larger growers, two to three years for smaller growers.

Why do growers calculate the return on their investment?

One of the findings of the qualitative interviews is that growers often calculate the return to their investments the first year, because they are paying closer attention. Once they know that they are saving money with the technology, the new cost figures become the baseline, and they quit thinking about how much they used to spend. This would suggest, too, that ROI for precision use in any given year is greater than most growers will readily express when asked.

How can lasers help farmers?

The result can be a boon for farmers and holds great potential for making agriculture more sustainable and increasing food availability. Big Data Down on the Farm.

How much will the global demand for calories grow over the next 40 years?

With the global demand for calories expected to grow by almost 50% over the next 40 years, the question on many minds is how to produce enough food to feed the world population. Though crop yields in the United States have grown in the last decade, they must continue to grow — and we don’t have much productive farmland left to expand into.

Why do farmers use drones?

Aside from crop dusting, drones will be able to take continuous shots of crops so farmers can monitor plant health without sending scouts out into the fields. This would allow for more controlled, precise fungicide and insecticide application. Japan has already started using drones to spray their rice fields. By 2010, drones sprayed 30 percent of Japanese rice fields with pesticides. “The Japanese farm hectares sprayed by manned helicopters dropped from 1,328 in 1995 to 57 in 2011, as unmanned helicopter spray rose to 1,000 hectares that year,” according to Wired. The consensus seems to be that American farming will adopt drones rapidly as well if they are approved for widespread use.

How does precision agriculture help farmers?

Technology is transforming agriculture to feed a growing population. Farmers can increase their agricultural products’ value by taking advantage of related data, helping prove things like nutritional content and sustainability. A new green revolution is underway.

How can farmers increase the value of their agricultural products?

Farmers can increase the value of their agricultural products by attaching data to it. For example, with IoT data, they can prove their crops were sustainably produced, and can charge a higher price for them because of it. Adam Wolf founder and CEO, Arable Labs.

How much more food will be produced in 2050?

The world must produce 70 percent more food in 2050 than it did in 2006 to feed the growing population. Edge computing, where localized processing is done on the farm itself, will help lower costs, which is key in a margin-based industry.

What are the benefits of farming?

Farmer benefits = increased profits to start . Higher crop yields and less cost are some of the benefits. For example, OnFarm’s studies found that for an average farm using IoT, yield rises by 1.75 percent and energy costs drop $7 to $13 per acre, while water use for irrigation falls by 8 percent.

Who is the CEO of Arable Labs?

Arable Labs founder and CEO Adam Wolf explains, “With the data, we can deduce information such as when will plants be ready for harvest, how well are they growing, how many bushels will be produced per acre, and what will the quality be.

What do sensors do on farms?

On farms, sensors gather vast amounts of data about crops, the weather, and soil, such as soil moisture levels, the precise amount of water every plant receives, humidity, soil salinity levels, fertilizers applied, plant growth, and much more. This is like gathering all the vital statistics in a manufacturing plant.

Why hasn’t IoT become more common in agriculture?

“There are always new seeds, new fertilizers, and new tractors becoming available. But because farmers’ livelihoods are at stake, they’re very reluctant to quickly switch to a new way of doing things ,” says Wolf. “So changing agriculture takes a while. It requires a lot of social proof: Farmers checking out what other farmers are doing.”

What is precision agriculture?

Greater precision means water, fertilizer and other inputs can be reduced with no impact on yield. It is sustainable intensification in action: output increasing while environmental impacts, especially around water and fertilizer use, go down. That means more production, less water used, less nutrient run-off and higher water quality. In most places, fertilizer run-off is the main factor behind water pollution and coastal dead zones. What’s not to like?

How much does precision agriculture affect yield?

There is clear evidence that where precision agriculture is widely used, water and fertilizer use can go down by somewhere between 20 percent and 40 percent with no impact on yields, and even increased yield in some cases.

How do farmers get weather information?

Farmers receive personalized weather information which predicts how rainfall will vary from one field to the next. Soils are mapped at a level of precision unimaginable only a few years ago, and sensors tell farmers exactly how much water is being used at thousands of different data points.

How does digital technology affect farming?

Digital technology applied to farm machinery and cloud-based information is making farming seem like science fiction in some places. Drones buzz over the landscape monitoring crop conditions and spotting problems, like pest infestations or weeds. Farmers receive personalized weather information which predicts how rainfall will vary from one field to the next. Soils are mapped at a level of precision unimaginable only a few years ago, and sensors tell farmers exactly how much water is being used at thousands of different data points.

Why is conservation technology being marketed and adopted?

This technology is being marketed and adopted for its impact on the bottom line, to save money. Conservation benefits come as a collateral benefit, but one which we should take note of.

Why do farmers use precision agriculture?

Farmers who use precision agriculture do so on cost-benefit grounds. Delivering exactly the right inputs in the right amounts at the right time in the right places could radically reduce the demand for new land by helping us operate much more efficiently on the land we already have.

Do farmers need to be well educated?

Farmers need to be well-educated, or depend on an extensive network of third party providers. None of this applies to where precision agriculture is actually often most desperately needed—where resources and inputs are scarce, farmers are poor, and lives are on the line.

The Truth About ROI with Precision Farming Technology

The current economic environment has left the agriculture industry spinning. Farmers are looking for ways to maximize profit in a market where input costs tend to exceed commodity pricing.

Does Precision Ag Pay Off?

One of the most prominent concerns we hear when talking to farmers about purchasing precision ag technology is around cost and ROI.

Experienced vs. New Farmers – Let Technology Do the Work

Farmers that have planted and harvested for years are experienced drivers, so it can be hard to see how precision farming technology will make a big enough difference to justify the cost. No matter how skilled you are, technology is always more accurate.

Expert Support for Farmers

We also hear this concern from farmers that are on the other end of the spectrum – those that are just starting out – and don’t have the money to spend on precision farming, especially as they think it will be a huge out-of-pocket expense and they don’t have the experience to make it worthwhile.

Older Equipment? No Problem!

Another scenario we hear frequently is that farmers think their equipment is either too old for precision farming technology or that the technology is not worth it because it’s too expensive. Trimble has a variety of solutions that are affordable and can help increase yields, save time, maximize productivity and increase profits.

Understanding ROI

Some farmers are simply cost-adverse – and for good reason. You run a lean operation and can’t see that the value or ROI of putting more money out will ever put enough back in your pocket to make up for it. Trimble offers a variety of solutions that aren’t a huge out-of-pocket expense.

Precision Ag Pays for Itself

As an entry point, there are two precision ag solutions we recommend that can quickly pay for themselves – especially for specialty crops like carrots and potatoes.

New rotation

As a result, the Wakefields have moved away from their old wheat-oilseed rape rotation to a three-year one that includes a considerable area of spring cropping. They have also reintroduced the plough, having stopped in 2002 in favour of cheaper and faster establishment methods, trying out both minimum tillage and direct drilling in the meantime.

Yield maps

The first yield maps were produced at Manor Farms in 2004. From there, the farm’s soil types were mapped and put into Gatekeeper for overlaying with the yield results and to allow for variable applications of P and K fertilisers.

Need for precision farming trial

The next 10 years will see massive growth in developments such as connectivity, data transfer and multi-layer data software, predicts Lewis McKerrow, head of precision technology for Agrovista’s Plantsystems precision farming service.

Combination approach

The trials are taking a combination approach, as there’s little point in conducting soil scanning or drone flights without using the data in a strategy or system. As a result, Manor Farms has various techniques being investigated – with soil, weather and crop sensing measurements taking place.

Results to date

Where an optimise strategy was adopted on the Manor Farms trial site, higher-performing areas of the field had fertiliser and plant growth regulator inputs reduced. That gave a saving of £75/ha (£30/acre), which represented £450 for the whole field – equivalent to the cost of a T3 fungicide across the site.


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