COLUMBUS — Guidance systems, like real-time kinetic auto steer, continue to be one of the top precision agriculture components of choice for Ohio farmers, and the most rapidly adopted precision equipment, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economics survey.
Marv Batte, an agricultural economist with the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, surveyed 2,500 farmers last year with sales of $50,000 or more to determine the rate of precision agriculture adoption among 17 components.
The survey, which resulted in a 58 percent response rate, is a continuation of similar surveys conducted in 1999 and 2003.
According to the results of the survey, nearly 55 percent of commercial farmers have adopted at least one piece of precision farming equipment as of 2007.
Precision guidance systems and yield monitors were the most frequently adopted precision farming equipment, with about 32 percent of all commercial farmers adopting them to date.
Precision guidance systems have been adopted by farmers most readily over the past eight years. Since 1999, adoption rates have jumped 27 percent. Adoption rates of yield monitors increased 15 percent since 1999.
Other precision agriculture components being rapidly adopted by Ohio farmers include georeferenced grid soil sampling; satellite GPS receiver; boundary mapping; variable rate application of lime, phosphorus and potassium; and aerial or satellite field photography.
The rate of adoption and what precision agriculture component is adopted depends on factors like farm size, annual sales and what kind of crops are being grown. Adoption is seven times larger for the largest farm class than for the smallest class of commercial farmers.
According to the survey, the least adopted precision agriculture equipment is variable rate application of pesticides and micronutrients.
Survey results also found: