Economic benefits of precision weed control and why its uptake is so slow

Innovation in agriculture ensures the widespread use of the most up-to-date technology. One such technology is precision crop protection, which meets the requirement of environmental and economic sustainability. The applicability of precision crop protection has been verified by several studies and in practice, but its uptake is very slow. Examining the economic relationships between potential savings and pests at the European Union level, this paper shows that the savings in pesticide use following the adoption of precision plant protection can be 30,000 tonnes (calculated using the current dose levels) per annum. If approximately 30 per cent of the crop producing and mixed farms larger than 16 ESU apply this new technology, the environmental burden will be reduced by 10-35 per cent. From a survey of 72 Hungarian farmers we found a positive correlation between the size of the farm and the adoption of precision farming technology, and those farmers in the survey that had implemented precision crop production estimated that the consequent change in income had been positive. Thus, at a certain farm size and farming intensity, precision crop production is a real, environmental friendly farming strategy option, through which each farm can generate an income that covers at least the economic conditions of simple production. By encouraging environmentally friendly farming practice, precision crop production can meet the requirements of the proposed green component of Pillar 1 of the Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2014-2020.

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Publication Type:
Journal Article
DOI and Other Identifiers:
1418 2106 (Other)
2063 0476 (Other)
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Published in:
Studies in Agricultural Economics, Volume 115, Number 1
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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