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The University of Tennessee | Institute of Agriculture

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Frequently Used Tools:



 


Automatic Section Control for Planters Cost Calculator (ASCCC)

 

In the context of Precision Agricultural technologies, Automatic Section Control (ASC) Technology for planters provides control over planting operations such that sections or rows on the planter are turned off in areas of the field that had been previously planted or areas that have been marked not to plant. Potential benefits of this technology are lower seed costs due to reduction in double-planted acres, and improved yield potential in these double-planted areas at harvest time. Reduced cost (i.e. seed savings) and additional revenue (i.e. improved yield) will vary based on field shape and size.

The Automatic Section Control for Planters Cost Calculator (ASCCC) is an interactive computerized decision aid that is designed to help you evaluate potential benefits of this technology (i.e., lower seed, and improved yield potential) and estimate the number of years it would take an investment in ASC for planters to return its original cost through the annual net cash revenue it generates (i.e. savings).

A marginal approach that utilizes partial budgeting techniques[1] is use to ascertain the marginal change in costs and revenues associated with double planting. This approach enabled us to determine the potential profit reduction (per acre) due to double planting and therefore the potential saving associated with the adoption of ASC technology for planters.

ASCCC allows you to develop a custom analysis of the purchase decision based on your farm situation. ASCCC includes default input costs, crop prices, and yields based on UT budgets but they can be change to better reflect your farm operation situation.

 

Field Diagrams

 

[1] Kay, R. D. and W.M. Edwards. 1999. Farm Management, Fourth Edition, McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA.

Note on Security Settings

The file contains macros (buttons for printing and moving from the intro page to the calculator). Security settings for Microsoft Office or Excel may give you warnings for when you open the file. This will especially be true if your security settings are set to high or very high. The following should correct the issue.

For Excel 2010

  • When you open the file a "Security Warning" Message may appear just above the spreadsheet.
  • The message will read "This file originated from an Internet location and might be unsafe."
  • Click on the "Enable Editing" Button beside the message.
  • A second message may then appear just above the spreadsheet which reads “Some active content has been disabled."
  • Click on the "Enable Content" Button beside the message.

For Excel 2007

  • When you open the file a "Security Warning" Message may appear just above the spreadsheet.
  • The message will read "Some active content has been disabled."
  • Click on the "Options" Button beside the message.
  • A Microsoft Office security window appears. Select "Enable the content" then "OK".

For Excel 2003
If your security settings are set to High or Very High a message will be displayed and you may need to change your security settings to enable the macros.

  • Open Excel
  • Select the "Tools" menu option
  • From the Tools menu select "Macro" and then select "Security"...
  • A window will be displayed which will include a tab labeled Security Level
  • Select "Medium" and then "OK"
  • Now open the Buy/Sell Margins Calculator file
  • When you open the file, a security warning window will appear
  • Select the "Enable Macros" button to continue opening the file

For additional information, contact Margarita Velandia, mvelandia@utk.edu