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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF AN AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION – PRECISION CROP PRODUCTION

Katalin Takács-György

APSTRACT: Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce, 2012, vol. 06

Abstract: Innovation in agriculture ensures the wide-spread use of the latest, up-to-date technology. Such new technology is precision farming in crop production, which serves as a validation of the criteria of environmental and economic sustainability. The economic applicability of precision crop production depends on several factors.Among them the following aspects must be emphasized: the size of the farm, the characteristics of the production structure, the current input-output prices and their tendencies, the investment needed for transitioning to precision technology and its capital source, the level of professional knowledge and the managerial attitudes of the farm. I have examined the economic relations between potential savings in chemicals on EU level. It has been found that after switching to precision farming, the active ingredient use for fertilizers can be reduced by 340 thousand tons at the same expected yield level in an optimistic scenario in the EU-27, while the savings in pesticide use can be 30 thousand tons (calculating with the current dose-level). If approximately 30% of the crop producing and mixed farms over 16 ESU adopt this new technology, this will diminish environmental loads by up to 10-35%. The majority of farms characterized by greater output and size can be based on their own equipment but it might as well be presumed that smaller farms can turn to precision farming not based on their own investment. They can buy the technical service from providers, they can establish producer cooperation, for example in the frame of machinery rings. At a certain farm size and farming intensity precision crop production is a real, environmentally friendly farming strategy, with the help of which the farm can reach earnings that cover at least the economic conditions of simple reproduction.

Keywords: farming; technology push; low speed of diffusion; Agricultural and Food Policy; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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