Dr. Terry Kastens is an Emeritus Professor from Kansas State University. He’s back to farming now and spoke during a Learning Center Session at Commodity Classic sponsored by John Deere. The session topic was “Better Data, Better Decisions: the ROI of Smart Machine Technology.
One of the first points Dr. Karstens makes is that every new technology requires an investment. That provides an opportunity for larger farms who can spread their investment out over more acres, or units of production. It’s the age old economy of scale thing. So, for this reason you would expect larger farms to adopt new technology quicker than smaller farms. That is in fact the case and he says that we can expect to see more consolidation in row crop farms analogous to what we’ve seen in the livestock industry.
Another point made in the presentation was that some technologies are adopted at a rapid rate and others at a much slower rate. In the precision ag sector an example of quick adoption is the use of yield monitors. But he says that making sense out of yield monitor data and actually varying rates of fertilizer as one example are being adopted much slower.
Listen to my interview with Dr. Kastens to hear more of his comments on this: Interview with Dr. Terry Kastens