; Using Precision Agriculture to Manage Risk | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Using Precision Agriculture to Manage Risk

Carl Dillon


Precision agriculture (PA) has been shown to reduce the risk borne by farmers in prior research. This project used the teaching of teams consisting of a county extension agent and one or more Kentucky farmers with training and tools to use and help others use PA to manage risk. Three workshops that consider the effects of other risk management techniques such as land tenure (e.g., owned land, crop share) were conducted. Upon completion, participants were expected to be able to competently apply three PA risk management tools at either a basic or advanced level. The workshops were well received and accomplished the goal of providing decision aids useful in applying PA techniques in reducing risk. The more difficult and uncontrollable task of leveraging this education by having teams help others remains ongoing.

Conclusions are fourfold. First, precision agriculture as a risk management tool is an important concept and is well received by farmers. Second, it can be especially helpful in approaching decision aids from both an easy to apply viewpoint as well as a more advanced analytical approach. Third, the complexity of agriculture makes it inherently well suited to a multidisciplinary approach in an effort to enhance the probability of success. Finally, while teaching the teachers in an attempt to leverage resources and increase knowledge exponentially is appealing, actual implementation is hindered by a lack of control by the original project team instructors and incentives for those initially trained in this knowledge to teach others.