Precision agriculture (PA) technologies have been commercially available since the early 1990s. However, not only has the pace of adoption in the US been relatively modest but a surprisingly large number of producers are not familiar with these technologies. Using farm level survey data, this study quantifies the role that awareness plays in the decision to adopt PA technology and allows us to explore the potential for public or private information programs to affect the diffusion of PA. PA adoption and awareness are modeled as jointly determined dichotomous variables and their determinants are estimated using a two-stage (i.e. instrumental variable) logistic specification. The first-stage logit model indicated that operator education and computer literacy, full-time farming, and farm size positively affected the probability of PA awareness while the effect of age was negative. Grain and oilseed farms (i.e. corn, soybean, and small grains) and specialty crop farms (i.e. fruits, vegetables, and nuts) as well as farms located in the Heartland and Northern Great Plains regions were most likely to be aware of PA technologies. The second-stage PA adoption logit model, which included an instrumental variable to account for the endogeneity of awareness, revealed that farm size, full-time farming, and computer literacy positively influenced the likelihood of PA adoption. Grain and oilseed farms were the most likely types of farms to adopt PA as were farms in the Heartland region. Awareness, as defined in this study, was not found to be limiting the adoption of PA, suggesting that farmers for whom the technology is profitable are already aware of the technology and that a sector-wide public or private initiative to disseminate PA information would not likely have a major impact on PA diffusion.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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