Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Dr.Roland K. Roberts

Committee Members

Dr.Dayton M. Lambert, Dr.James A. Larson, Dr.Margarita Velandia

Abstract

This study analyzed factors of farm and farmer characteristics that influenced the timing of PF technology adoption using Trivariate Tobit models for three PF technologies. Data from the Cotton Incorporated Southern Precision Farming (PF) Survey conducted in February and March of 2009 for the 2008 crop year were analyzed for PF adoption by Southern U.S. Cotton Producers. The number of years a cotton farmer had used yield monitoring (YMR), remote sensing (RMS) and grid soil sampling (GSS) were the dependent variables and farm and farmer characteristics were the independent variables.

Results of Trivariate Tobit model for YMR suggested that younger cotton farmers who had higher lint yield, used a computer for farm management and a laptop in the field, had taxable household income of $100,000 or greater, adopted GSS or other PF technologies before or in the same year as YMR, thought PF would be profitable and important, and thought PF would improve environmental quality adopted YMR earlier than other farmers. Additionally, farmers who had farms located in Arkansas adopted YMR earlier than farmers in Texas. Farmers who used the Internet to obtain PF information adopted YMR later than farmers who did not use the Internet to obtain PF information.

Trivariate Tobit results for RMS adoption suggested that younger cotton farmers who adopted other PF technologies before or the same time as RMS, thought PF would be profitable in the future, would improve environmental quality, used news and/or media to obtain PF information adopted RMS earlier than other farmers. While farmers who used crop consultants to obtain PF information adopted RMS later than farmers who did not use crop consultants to obtain PF information. Farmers who had farms located in Arkansas, Missouri, or South Carolina adopted RMS earlier than farmers in Texas.

Lastly, results of Trivariate Tobit model suggested that younger cotton farmers who had the greater ration of rented lands to total lands, used a laptop or handheld computer in the field, and adopted YMR before or at the same time adopting GSS adopted GSS later than other farmers. Farmers who used a computer for farm management, adopted other PF technologies before or at the same time adopting GSS, thought the use of PF would improve environmental quality, and obtained PF adoption information from crop consultants and trade shows adopted GSS earlier than other farmers. Farmers in Texas adopted GSS later than farmers in all other states except Virginia.

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