Why is Precision Agriculture so important?
Increased food demand has led many Nebraskan farms to increase their field sizes, convert non-crop habitat into agricultural land, and reduce crop diversity. However, these increases in farm productivity come at a cost to things like water pollution, soil erosion, and habitat loss. Even more challenging still, many farmers still face economic uncertainty.
To face these new issues, new precision technologies and conservation frameworks allow farmers to do things like:
- Strategically target fertilizer application
- Time their irrigation
- Target low-yielding acres for conservation programs (Conservation Reserve Program, Prairie Strips)
This reduces excess and waste, thus lowering the cost on the farmer while also promoting more sustainable agricultural practices.
To understand the constraints to precision agriculture and conservation adoption, Morgan and Corrin will be working on a 7500 recipient survey with the help of state wide conservation organizations and agencies.
Why is it so important that we understand the communication between farmers and landowners with conservation specialists? — Morgan
If the land we are trying to conserve is privately owned, we must have more integrative and interactive approaches to see long-term retention. The increased complexity of private land ownership and utilization on the landscape prompts the need for research on collaborative management practices and the current effectiveness of our programs for outreach.
In order to address these questions, my project will aim to address:
- Collect perspectives and insights into current precision agriculture practices from both specialist, farmer, and landowner perspective
- Provide a look into communication strategies that are currently efficient and effective
- Highlight areas of precision agriculture that has questions remaining in terms of implementation and adoption motivation
Comparing both perspectives will allow interchangeable knowledge to help specialists farmers, and landowners understand constraints and opening the dialogue of these very relevant topics, leading to resourceful opportunities moving forward.
Have you ever wondered how our current laws and economic policies and situations affect a farmer’s ability to adopt precision agriculture? — Corrin
To tackle these issues, my project aims to understand:
- How effective are our current precision agriculture adoption incentives?
- Are current laws too wordy, confusing, or even if they are perceived as harmful?
- Do our current incentives offset the cost of implementation?
Answering these questions will allow Non-government organizations and government organizations to better tailor adoption outreach and incentives in order to increase whole field profitability for the farmer while promoting more sustainable agricultural practices.