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Precision Ag Adoption Among No-Tillers

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Over the last 10 years, no-till farmers have had a relatively consistent pattern of adoption for precision ag technology. Trends among key precision technologies show a relatively consistent pattern of expansion with a temporary downturn in 2020 and 2021, then a return to similar rates of expansion in 2022 and 2023.

In a 2023 Ag Equipment Intelligence survey, no-till farmers were asked to project whether they expected to be purchasing each technology within the next 5 years. Even for already widely used options like variable rate fertilization, GPS autosteer, auto seed shutoff and yield monitoring data analysis, more than 15% of no-tillers indicated they would probably be purchasing the technology in the next 5 years.

Among technologies with less than 40% current adoption, drones, VR seeding and remote sensing were given at least a 15% purchase projection in that same time period.

There are several drivers for adoption of precision agriculture technologies, which are covered in the report:

  • Improved economics (cost/return ratio)
  • Practical farming advantages (agronomics) and operational benefits
  • Sources of trusted information and recommendations
  • Advantages linked to farm scale and land tenure
  • Technological advances
  • Growers’ thinking and orientation

Just like there are drivers for adoption, there are also some barriers. Broadly speaking, the barriers fall into these main categories:

  • Economic barriers
  • Technology issues
  • Lack of expertise
  • Trust issues
  • Uncertainty and practical complexity

This report also looks at different precision ag technologies on a case-by-case basis and include adoption and future use data from multiple sources that shows how different aspects of precision ag technology are being adopted by no-tillers as well as the prospect for future adoption of these technologies.

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