Socioeconomic impact of widespread adoption of precision farming and controlled traffic systems.

This report examines the socioeconomic impact from implementing different precision farming and controlled traffic systems in arable farming for different crops including: wheat, maize, sugar beet and rape seed among Danish farmers.

Year of Publication2011

This report focuses on two scenarios. The first one is controlled traffic because this single system appears to have the most significant impact on fuel savings and yield increases among different precision farming systems. This technology along with auto-guidance is also regarded as a likely future technology in arable farming. The second scenario is a full implementation of precision farming with controlled traffic, site-specific weed management and site-specific N-and lime application. All technologies are assumed to be implemented in Danish farming. Findings from this report indicate that an implementation of controlled traffic farming systems may have a significant impact on savings of fuel costs (25 – 27 pct.) compared with conventional farming practices. Auto guidance and controlled traffic farming may enable the farmer to save significant fuel amounts due to fewer overlaps with better navigation and from better logistics. Moreover, controlled traffic may increase yields in the long run. Implementation of site specific weed, lime and nitrogen management increase the need of labour and capital but the technologies also have potential to increase yields. Adopting the specified new technologies in Danish agriculture on large farms leads to small but positive macroeconomic effects on the Danish economy. Furthermore it reduces the use of pesticide expected to improve biodiversity. For agriculture, the adoption of these technologies will improve agricultural income and increase production in the agricultural industrial complex. These effect will to some extend be at the expense of production in other industries in terms of losses in the relative competitiveness.

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