Retail Precision Adoption Survey 2013 Preliminary Report Now Available

The full academic report from the CropLife magazine/Purdue University Retail Precision Adoption Survey, the preeminent benchmarking study of technology and precision practice adoption among US agricultural retailers, is now availalble on the Purdue University Center for Agribusiness website. Final approval from the peer review process is still pending but is very nearly complete.

The survey is conducted with financial support from Trimble.

The report contains a more robust reporting of the survey results, with additional charts and comparative data, and is widely used by extension, universities, and businesses to illustrate progress in precision technology adoption.

 Highlights of the findings from 2013 include the following:

In the survey results, four precision ag technologies were affirmed by retailers. According to the survey, the highest valued technology, variable rate seeding, had nearly half (49.6%) of respondents agreeing it “is an emerging technology with a promising future.” In close second, chlorophyll/greenness sensors (CropSpec, GreenSeeker, OptRx, etc.), had 41% agreeing it is “an emerging technology, but one with an uncertain future.” Not surprisingly, 30% of respondents indicated autosteer is a technology customers expect them to use, and 28% indicated light bar technology is an obsolete technology, while 46% indicated it was a technology they expected to be used.

From the Survey Summary

“For many years the technologies that measure and manage field variability such as grid/zone soil sampling, remote sensing, and variable rate technology showed little change in adoption. The 2013 survey results indicate a positive shift in adoption, as well as continued optimism for future increase in adoption. Clearly, both customer and dealer issues related to precision farming adoption are less important than in previous surveys.

Thinking forward, the biggest challenge for any technology’s successful, and fast, adoption will be how obvious it is for dealerships, and their farmer customers, to realize the value.”

About The Survey

In February 2013, a questionnaire was mailed to 2,500 CropLife retail crop input dealership readers across the US. Dealerships ranged in size from one outlet (33%) to 25 or more outlets (10%). A total of 171 questionnaires were returned, providing a response rate of 6.8%. Survey respondents represented 34 states, with Ohio having the highest amount of respondents, accounting for 11%, while Illinois followed close behind, with 10% of total respondents. By region, the Midwest had the largest representation with 71% of the survey respondents hailing from the regoin. Additionally, 13% of respondents were from the South, 11% from the West, and 5% were from the Northeast.

Annual agronomy sales per location was also measured. About 40% of respondents fell within the ranges of under $1 million to under $5 million, while nearly half (49%) reported annual sales over the $7 million mark.

Read the full survey as a .pdf file on Purdue University’s website here.

Financial support for the survey was provided by Trimble.

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