Hopefully, most of you are aware that one of the projects we work on here at the CropLife Media Group is the PrecisionAg Inititative. Back in 1995, CropLife® magazine (then under the Farm Chemicals name) started a special section called Site Lines, which focused on the exploding trend called “precision” or “site-specific” agriculture in the mid-1990s.
In 2000, we brought onboard the PrecisionAg Buyers Guide and the Web site PrecisionAg.com when we purchased a company called Clear Window, which published a magazine called Dealer Progress. This served to help us broaden our horizons in high technology agriculture, and to set a mission to be an information center for ag technology.
Then in 2006, we began a new project. In conjunction with 13 Founding Partners, we started something called the PrecisionAg Institute. There were actually several reasons why we did this.
First, our industry friends were telling us that there was a need for an independent, third-party voice to specifically address precision agriculture issues — past, present, and future. We’re working to address this through special reports and through our searchable Web site, PrecisionAg.com.
Second, we saw a need to establish a baseline of research on growers to find out more about why they adopt precision agriculture, why they don’t adopt, and what are the key benefits for early adopters.
When the research data came in, it showed some striking results for those of us advocating precision agriculture use. Out of the adopters we interviewed in the corn, soybean, wheat, and cotton markets, 8 out 10 respondents said that precision agriculture made them more profitable. And when asked to estimate how much more profit can be attributed to precision agriculture practices, their responses ranged from $5 to $9 per acre.
There were other interesting findings throughout the research that shed light on opportunities and obstacles when it comes to precision agriculture. And as a part of the Institute, we are using the research as a springboard for creating a new precision agriculture advocacy program called PrecisionAg Works.
When we looked carefully at the non-adopter community, it was apparent that many growers simply don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to precision technology. Out of fear, or a lack of understanding, or a general sense that it won’t pay off, growers are staying away from precision agriculture. Through PrecisionAg Works, we hope to raise the level of understanding of the benefits and opportunities in precision agriculture.
And as the trusted advisor to so many growers, we’d like to make this information available to you. Now and over the next few months, we will be creating and releasing information under the PrecisionAg Works banner that you might find useful in your conversations with growers about precision agriculture technology. Downloadable PDFs of promotional material, videos, success stories, and in-depth reports will be available at PrecisionAg.com. Check the Web site often for updates.
The research proved to us that many, many growers are experiencing the benefits of precision agriculture. Now, through PrecisionAg Works, we will be able to share the good news, for the benefit of everyone.