Guidance Systems Save Fuel And Wear On Machines Through Easier Management Of Field Activities

1536 WordsDec 6, 20167 Pages
Guidance systems save fuel and wear on machines through easier management of field activities. Reduced operator fatigue and other stress-related factors are hard to measure and their effects are not accounted for in the cost savings from guidance systems. A news article published revealed these stats, “Relative to total per acre production costs, the estimated savings are 4.5 percent with yield mapping, 2.4 percent with GPS soil mapping, 2.7 percent with guidance systems, and between 3.7 and 3.9 percent with Variable Rate Technologies” (Schimmelpfennig). To estimate the cost savings from use of precision agriculture technologies in corn production, Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers analyzed factors related to technology adoption and corn production practices. Researchers accounted for the effects of acres farmed, level of education of the operator, and age of the operator. Per-acre production cost was measured as operating costs for seed, fertilizer, pesticides, paid and unpaid labor, machinery expenses, fuel and repairs, and custom service expenses. Among corn farmers using these four precision agriculture technologies, those using yield mapping independently or with VRT reported the largest cost savings of about $25 per acre. Yield monitors collect information on growing conditions throughout the year that are reflected in yields, and yield variability across a farmer’s fields gives a rich source of information on the effectiveness of recent practices. Farmers

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