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Master of Agribusiness

Precision Agriculture Adoption by Growers in South Central Nebraska

Tyrell Fickenscher, Axtell, Neb., defended his thesis, “Precision Agriculture Adoption by Growers in South Central Nebraska,” on April 27, 2012. Fickenscher is the Ag Technology Lead & Location Manager for Cooperative Producers, Inc. (CPI) in Wilcox, Neb. He graduated from Kansas State University in May with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

Adoption of precision agriculture technology has been growing as producers look for ways to improve cost efficiency. Producers are now able to capture data from application, field sampling and harvest data collection, but need a way to analyze the data and make decisions.

“CPI has been providing site-specific sampling and yield analysis to producers, but our customers are asking for more information on how to use the data to make decisions so we are in the process of developing technology that will combine all of those results,” Fickenscher said.

Fickenscher conducted a survey of CPI customers to gain insight into what information is useful to growers.

Kevin Dhuyvetter, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Fickenschers’s thesis advisor, said, “Tyrell did a real nice job of developing a survey that was sent to their clientele to collect data about current and expected future use of precision ag technologies. The results of this survey provide a nice benchmark of what producers are currently doing and these data also allowed Ty to estimate models to help identify what factors influence adoption rates for various technologies.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/13777.