Year of Publication

2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Agriculture

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Carl R. Dillon

Abstract

This dissertation investigated farm management concerns faced by grain producers due to the acquisition of various precision agriculture technologies. The technologies evaluated in the three manuscripts included 1) auto-steer navigation, 2) automatic section control, and 3) autonomous machinery. Each manuscript utilized a multifaceted economic model in a whole-farm decision-making framework to determine the impact of precision agriculture technology on machinery management, production management, and risk management. This approach allowed for a thorough investigation into various precision agriculture technologies which helped address the relative dearth of economic studies of precision agriculture and farm management. Moreover, the research conducted on the above technologies provided a wide array of economic insight and information for researchers and developers to aid in the advancement of precision agriculture technologies. Such information included the risk management potential of auto-steer navigation and automatic section control, and the impact the technologies had on optimal production strategies. This dissertation was also able to provided information to guide engineers in the development of autonomous machinery by identifying critical characteristics and isolating the most influential operating machine. The inferences from this dissertation intend to be employed in an extension setting with the purpose of educating grain producers on the impacts of implementing such technologies.

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