Is Technology Adoption Translating Into Real Benefits on Farm?
A lot has been said in the media about the digital revolution in agriculture, but how can farmers expect to benefit from all this new technology? Our data from the last three years shows that farmers are increasingly using field data management software on their farms. But, does this use translate into tangible benefits on-farm? What benefits are farmers attributing to software use and are there differences among farmers?
In December of 2019, Stratus surveyed 846 farmers across the United States on their use and perceptions of the many field data management software brands on the market today. Understanding how farmers intend to use the software, the benefits they expect to receive, the features they are most interested in and the factors that will ultimately drive their decisions on which software to use is critical information for the development and marketing of digital ag solutions.
Overwhelmingly farmers are realizing benefits to the adoption of field data management software on their farm. Among software users, less than 10% indicated they had not experienced any benefits they could attribute to the use of software on their farm.
The most frequently mentioned benefit attributed to the use of field data management on farm was ‘More informed decision making’:
When it comes to the promise of ROI because of more efficient use of crop inputs, not all farmers are alike. The chart below compares software users in the ‘Precision Farming’ segment (those who prioritize using zone management and variable rate technologies in their selection of field data management software), versus software users in the ‘Simple, Secure Record-Keeping’ segment (those who prioritize a low cost, easy to use software where they maintain ownership of their data). The chart shows us that farmers are more likely to see an improved ROI when they are using their software to employ precision farming technologies on their farm. It also illustrates that only 50% of those farmers who prioritize these technologies in their choice of software are realizing the benefit.
The 2019 report is currently available, and planning is already underway to repeat the annual study again in the winter of 2020. The findings of this report will enable field data management software providers to focus their product development teams and evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing strategies; thereby providing the information they need to implement strategies to grow.