Biennial Precision Retailer Adoption Survey Sneak Peek

Auto Steer

Why do agricultual retailers invest in and use precision agricultural technologies? Is it used to distinguish a business from the competition, to generate additional revenue or because customers expect it?

Precision Ag Special Reports’ sister magazine CropLife®, in cooperation with the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and Department of Agronomy at Purdue University with financial support from Trimble, have partnered to complete the 16th Precision Agricultural Survey. Sent to 2,500 agricultural retailers across the U.S., the survey looked at the use of precision technology and services at the retail level.

This year’s survey, completed by 171 respondents, looked at the use of precision technology products and services by retailers, the use of precision technology across all agricultural production, the potential barriers to technology adoption and some of the financial implications for retailers who offer precision technology products and services.

While the majority of the survey’s results will be presented in the June 2013 issue of CropLife magazine, recently completed analysis provides insights into how the technologies are being perceived. Survey respondents (ag retailers) were asked to categorize different precision technologies by how they perceive the anticipated future of these products.

A Sampling Of Technologies
Retailers were asked their opinions about the current and future state or specific equipment and practices and the impact of each on their operations.

For instance, variable-rate seeding is viewed by 49.6% of respondents as an emerging technology, currently used by few, that has promising future. Overall, 12.6% of respondents also agreed this is an emerging technology used by few, but they perceive it as a technology with a “highly uncertain future” and are not certain the seeding technology will catch on. While this technology is new and not yet widely adopted, retailers, for the most part, are confident in its future success.

Dealers perceive chlorophyll sensors to have less certain prospects. More than 74% of respondents categorized these sensors as emerging technologies, but 41.2% of respondents said the emerging technology had a “highly uncertain future.”

Shifting to precision technologies that have been more widely adopted, GPS guidance systems with automatic control (automatic steering) for fertilizer/chemical application is the third technology presented. Half of respondents reported that the two statements categorizing automatic steering as a technology that separates one from their competition best describes automatic steering in their business. While the majority of respondents identified the technology as differentiating, a significant portion, 28.9%, of respondents said this technology would not allow them to generate additional revenue. Another 30.3% agreed that the automatic steering technology is expected by customers.

In contrast to automatic steering, GPS guidance systems with manual control (lightbars) were indicated to be obsolete, no longer used or nearly replaced by 28% of respondents. Furthermore, 45.6% said the lightbar technology is one that a customer expects from their ag retailer. Less than 13% of respondents indicated the technology was one of two categories for creating value through differentiation, or separation, from the competition and less than 14% indicated it was one of the emerging technology categories.

What Is The Meaning?

So what do precision agricultural technologies mean for your business? Survey results showed that it depends on the technology and the specific retailer. Respondents indicated that for the mature technologies, their customer simply expects them to employ it.  

According to survey results, as new technologies emerge, such as the variable-rate seeding and chlorophyll sensors, the impact will be different than for more mature technologies. These technologies are new and used by few, so growers are more likely to have questions and potential concerns with applicators and retailers using them. For example, promoting nitrogen application with a chlorophyll sensor might create confusion about what the sensor is and how the technology works. Retailers will have to think critically about which technologies they decide to adopt and how they decide to promote them.

As the precision market continues to mature, many technologies will become mainstream expectations, some will become obsolete and likely new technologies will keep entering.  Grower expectations may change over time as they come to expect certain technologies are employed but actively seek — or cautiously investigate — the use of newer technologies on their farms.

As this cycle continues, it will remain critically important for ag retailers to keep in mind that the market is in constant motion and not all technologies will perform equally. So what technologies do you have working for you? And, more importantly, why? Is it to distinguish yourself, improve profitability or is it because you must fulfill customers’ expectations? Or is it something else?

For these answers, please read the full report in the June 2013 of CropLife magazine, due out shortly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Computers Stories
ComputersTrimble, CLAAS Announce LEXION Combine Factory Option
November 9, 2016
CLAAS and Trimble announced the introduction of a Trimble Ready machine factory option for CLAAS LEXION combines. CLAAS assembles LEXION Read More
senseFLY’s eBee UAV
ComputerssenseFly, Mobile App Developer Launch Drone Awareness Safety App
August 18, 2016
Professional drone maker, senseFly, has teamed up with the popular aviation navigation app, Air Navigation Pro, to launch Safer Together. Read More
Back 40 - RTKonnect
ComputersBack 40 Precision Releases RTK Caster Software
July 28, 2016
Back 40 Precision is proud to announce the public release of their RTK caster software. Their program is comprised of Read More
Deere S-Series Combine
ComputersJohn Deere Operations Center Releases New Software
July 7, 2016
The John Deere Operations Center provides value to growers with tools and features that enable them to easily access farm Read More
Trending Articles
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To Enhance VRT Programs
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secrets
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Farmers
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
BusinessTrimble Launches New FMIS Platform
November 7, 2016
Trimble announced today that it is consolidating three of its agriculture software products — Connected Farm, Farm Works Software and Read More
Grower Services & SolutionsGrower Groups Encourage Implementation Of AgGateway’s ADAPT For Precision Ag
November 2, 2016
A dozen leading U.S. grower organizations are hailing the collaborative efforts that led to the new AgGateway ADAPT framework for Read More
Latest News
BASF Maglis Grower Tablet
Business ManagementForecasting Precision Ag: 4 Challenges, Opportunities F…
December 7, 2016
Opportunities and challenges. They are the yin and yang of the business world. It could easily be argued that, out Read More
GVM E-Series cab
Ag Tech GlobalGlobalization And Precision Agriculture
December 7, 2016
Globalization has taken on a negative connotation in some circles in the U.S. in recent months. The lightning rod for Read More
Buhler Versatile HQ cab
BusinessThe State Of Precision Ag In 2016
December 7, 2016
There’s no denying that precision technologies and practices are more vibrant than ever. Elsewhere on this site, you will find Read More
BusinessFarmobile Details New AGCO Distribution Deal
December 6, 2016
Farmobile today announced a strategic partnership with AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. The agreement will allow Read More
Hort TechSol Chip Launches Autonomous, Wireless Solar Tag for Sm…
December 6, 2016
Sol Chip, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) systems and energy harvesting solutions, today announced the introduction of its Read More
TechnologyAgGateway Announces 2017 Board Of Directors And Leaders…
December 2, 2016
AgGateway has announced its leadership for the coming year, including the directors of its new Strategic Board and Operational Board, Read More
DataSentera Honored With Startup Award Of 2016 By Minnesota…
December 1, 2016
The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) recently recognized Sentera as the 2016 Tekne Startup Award recipient. The MHTA Tekne Awards Read More
AGCO AgControl
TechnologyPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
December 1, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To En…
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Fall corn
BusinessInsecticide of the Future? Robotic Tanks With Lasers to…
November 22, 2016
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Topcon X30 Console in cab
Sensors/IoTIoT The Focus Of New Topcon Partnership
November 22, 2016
Topcon Agriculture and SDF plan to enter into a non-exclusive long-term partnership agreement. This latest arrangement of Topcon with a Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secr…
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
BusinessFarmobile Releases Mobile Data Visualization Dashboard
November 17, 2016
Farmobile today announced an EFR Dashboard, a real-time dashboard that helps farmers visualize their field data and derive insights to Read More
Southern States
Best PracticesSouthern States: 5 Tips for Variable-Rate Seeding Succe…
November 15, 2016
Success comes from taking advantage of every opportunity you can. One technique used in precision farming, called variable rate seeding, Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Far…
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
THRIVE
BusinessCall For Ag Tech Startups: Apply To THRIVE’s Open…
November 10, 2016
THRIVE is looking for high growth ag tech companies with an in-market solution that are positioned to scale. The top 50 Read More
EquipmentJohn Deere Launching New Operations Center Apps, Mappin…
November 10, 2016
In an effort to enhance the functionality, ease-of-use and overall value of John Deere Operations Center to producers, John Deere Read More