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Group Tel:

08707 50 10 20

E-mail:

farmsight@farol.co.uk

Web:

www.farol.co.uk

Contact

Jeff Richings

Luke Ward

Jon Edwards

Richard Holdcroft

richingsjeff@farol.co.uk wardluke@farol.co.uk edwardsjonathon@farol.co.uk holdcroftrichard@farol.co.uk

Head Office:

Rycote Lane Farm, Milton Common, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2NZ

07980 869324

07884 580099

07771 567466

07415 798996

U.S. corn farmers are proving

themselves to be quick learners.

Growers producing the grain on

big plots -- those bigger than

2,900 acres -- are using precision-

agriculture methods at twice the

rate of the nation’s farmers overall, a

U.S. Department of Agriculture study

released Tuesday said. Their savvy

could be paying off. The agency

estimates that the new technologies

are helping to increase profits.

A three-year slump in grain prices has

eroded agriculture incomes, sparking

more farmers to adopt the so-called

precision-agriculture methods to

help increase efficiency. Companies

including Deere & Co. are joining the

race to create new products for the

market that Goldman Sachs Group

Inc. estimates could be worth $240

billion by 2050. The technologies

encompass everything from GPS-

guided tractors that reduces human

error and fatigue to granular data

analysis that enhances planting

decisions.

“Precision-agriculture technologies

require a significant investment of

capital and time, but may offer cost

savings and higher yields through

more precise management of

inputs,” David Schimmelpfennig, an

agricultural economist at the USDA

in Washington, wrote in the report.

About80percentof largeU.S. farmers

are using GPS devices to steer their

tractors, while between 70 percent

How Ag Tech is Boosting Farm Profits

and 80 percent use yield mapping to

determine the most productive areas

of their land, the USDA estimates.

Between 30 percent to 40 percent

of growers are utilizing variable rate

technology, a process that lets them

know how much fertilizer, seed or

crop protection to apply, when and

where.

Average size U.S. corn farms using

GPS mapping see about a 3 percent

increase in operating profit and

the gain for net returns is almost 2

percent, the agency said. Guidance

systems boost operating profit

by 2.5 percent, and variable-rate

technology raises it by about 1.1

percent, the study showed. The

USDA said it used data over a 17-

year span, starting in 1996, for its

study.

Even with the profit gains, the

impact on labor costs varied, the

report showed. Small farms saw

their costs drop after employing

the technologies, while expenses

for large ones climbed -- that may

be because of increased employees

hired to help implement the

methods, the USDA said.

“Precision-agriculture technologies require a

significant investment of capital and time, but

may offer cost savings and higher yields through

more precise management of inputs.”

Article Credit:

www.agweb.com/article/how-ag-tech-is-boosting-farm-profits-blmg/