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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Precision Farming Adoption Trends in the Southern U.S.

Authors: Xia “Vivian” Zhou, Burton C. English, James A. Larson, Dayton M. Lambert, Roland K. Roberts, Christopher N. Boyer, Margarita Velandia, Lawrence L. Falconer, and Steve W. Martin
Pages: 143-155
Economics and Marketing

Studies investigating temporal and geographic adoption of precision farming technologies (PFT) are valuable for researchers, consultants, and farmers to make more informed production decisions. Focusing on southern U.S. cotton producers, the objective of this study was to assess the timing trends and geographic patterns of PFT adoption. Data were obtained from a mail survey of cotton producers in 14 southern states in 2013. The overall PFT adoption level was 73.5%. Specifically, the adoption level was 40.9% for information gathering (IG), 67% for global positioning system-guidance (GPSG), 25.3% for variable rate application (VRA), and 29.3% for automatic section control technologies (ASC). The cumulative adoption level across years generally fit the logistic function curve for the various PFT evaluated in this study. The peak annual adoption growth was 4.0% in 2008 for IG, 6.8% in 2010 for GPSG, 4.4% in 2010 for VRA, and 7.2% in 2010 for ASC. Geographically, cotton farmers in the Corn Belt region had the highest PF adoption level (91.7%), followed by the Mississippi Delta region (80.7%) and the Northern and Southern Plains region (75.4%). The lowest PF adoption level was in the Southeast region (65.2%). Of the four PFT categories, GPSG was the most widely adopted. The geographic technology adoption patterns are valuable for farm input dealers to target potential buyers of PFT. This study provides researchers with valuable PFT adoption trends among southern cotton farmers and helps producers make more informed adoption decisions.