Initial technology assessment of farmers' perception of information-intensive farming systems and legal requirements: a farm survey in Denmark, Greece, Finland and Germany

Results of a survey conducted about the application of management information systems in agriculture and the role of precision farming.

Year of Publication2010

Executive summary:This paper presents descriptive results of a survey conducted about the application of management information systems in agriculture and the role of precision farming. The survey has been carried out in autumn 2009 in following countries: Greece, Germany, Finland and Denmark with 75, 74, 78 and 182 respondents respectively.In Denmark, 400 questionnaires were posted and distributed among Danish farmers and ensuring that all farm types was represented. In Finland, 700 questionnaires were posted to Finnish farmers combined with the possibility to upload answers on a web‐site. There are around 70000 active farms in Finland, and the questionnaires were sent to 1 % of randomly selected active farmers in each region. In Germany 1000 questionnaires were posted to farmers across the country, ensuring that each of the 10 notable regions had 100 questionnaires. The German farms receiving the questionnaire are among those receiving over 40 000 EURO in farm supports from the EU. In Greece farmers were mostly approached with personal interviews. In Greece, personal interviews were conducted in the region of Thessaly, Central Greece. Thessaly is the main agricultural region in Greece with larger farms in comparison to the rest of the country, predominantly cultivating cotton and cereals and to a lesser extent vegetables and trees. The farmers were randomly selected.The objective of this study was to assess farmers’ perception of farm information management systems and to estimate the time farmers allocate to office related and administration tasks. Farm requirements of information systems with regard to legal issues are also briefly addressed.The survey was coordinated by University of Copenhagen, Institute of Food and Resource Economics and consisted of 31 questions. The questions were the same in all countries with adjustments on how the questions were phrased in order to reflect language differences in each country. The results are presented in an approach allowing for across country comparison of responses for most of the categorical questions. In Greece questions related to precision farming were left out because the systems were not available. Data editing and the descriptive analyses was conducted using the SAS software. Since all countries, with the exception of Denmark use EURO as the national currency an exchange rate of 1 EURO = 7.5 DKK has been used for all questions related to monetary issues.This paper first describes the survey population, including demographics, farm structure and crop rotation among respondents. The second part focuses on time budgets for administrative work and office related tasks. The third section gives an overview of the farmers’ use of precision farming technology and other automated farming systems. Finally, this section is followed by a discussion of results, conclusions and perspectives.

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precision farmingffd5 2farm management information system
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