Precision farming is an old idea that has been given new life by the advent of technologies based on global positioning systems (GPS). These GPS-based technologies are used to tailor soil and crop management to match conditions at every location in a field. With this technology, a farmer has the potential to decrease costs, increase profits, and decrease hazards to the environment by applying production inputs more efficiently than applying them uniformly across a field.
The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee is engaged in the development and dissemination of information about precision farming to agricultural producers, agribusiness firms, crop consultants, government officials and others with a particular interest in precision agriculture technologies.
Department Personnel Working in Precision Agriculture:
Burton English - Professor and Research Coordinator (Research and Teaching); Agribusiness development, resource economics, and production economics
Dayton Lambert - Assistant Professor (Research and Teaching); Rural Economic Development, Regional Economics, Location Theory, Spatial Econometrics
James Larson - Associate Professor (Research and Teaching); Farm management, risk management, and production economics
Vivian Zhou - Research Associate (Research); Production economics and farm management
Roland Roberts - Professor, Assistant Department Head for Research, and Director of Graduate Studies (Research and Teaching); Production economics and farm management
Margarita Velandia - Assistant Professor (Research and Extension); Farm management and production economics, and programs in organic agriculture and tobacco management
The Department teaches a course at the undergraduate level that deal with economics of precision agriculture. Description of the course is presented below:
Selected Research Projects
- Hatch Project TN00348, “Economic Analysis of Agricultural Production Systems in Tennessee”
- Cotton Incorporated Projects
– Regional Precision Farming Project: Cotton Incorporated Project 07-131, “Economics of Precision Farming Working Group—Tennessee”
– Tennessee Precision Farming Project: Cotton Incorporated Project 07-132, “Current State and Future Adoption of Precision Farming Technologies by Cotton Farmers in Tennessee”
- When Does Variable Rate Technology for Agricultural Sprayers Pay? A Case Study for Cotton Production in Tennessee
Mooney, D. F., J. A. Larson, R. K. Roberts, and B. C. English
Journal of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers 72(2009):177-187
Adoption and Abandonment of Precision Soil Sampling in Cotton Production
Walton, J.C., R.K. Roberts, D.M. Lambert, J.A. Larson, B.C. English, S.L. Larkin, S.W. Martin, M.C. Marra, K.W.Paxton, and J.M. Reeves
Selected Paper presented at the American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, July 27-29, 2008
- The Variable-Rate Input Application Decision for Multiple Inputs with Interactions
Roberts, R.K., B.C. English, and J.A. Larson.
Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 31(2006):391-413
- A Computer Decision Aid for the Cotton Yield Monitor Investment Decision
Larson, J.A., R.K. Roberts, B.C. English, R.L. Cochran, and B.S. Wilson.
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 48(2005):216-234. Also presented as a Selected Paper at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Mobile, AL, February 1-5, 2003
- Adoption of Site-Specific Information and Variable Rate Technologies in Cotton Precision Farming
Roberts, R.K., B.C. English, J.A. Larson, R.L. Cochran, W.R. Goodman, S.L. Larkin, M.C. Marra, S.W. Martin, W.D. Shurley, and J.M. Reeves.
Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 36(2004):143-158. Also presented as a Selected Paper at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Tulsa, OK, February 14-18, 2004
- Assessing Spatial Break-even Variability in Fields with Two or More Management Zones
English, B.C., S.B. Mahajanashetti, and R.K. Roberts.
Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 33(2001):551-565
Extension specialist in the department publish short term planning budgets each year.