. Energy News .

Accelerating adoption of agricultural technology
by Staff Writers
Gettysburg PA (SPX) Dec 13, 2011

In-field technology demonstrations help growers "road-test" new equipment and may speed their adoption of new technologies. Credit: Photo courtesy of Katie Ellis.

Research shows that it takes about eight years from the time public research funds are invested in technology development to the time the technology is first implemented. In the agricultural sector it can take as long as 15 years before full adoption by stakeholders occurs.

Because many technologies in the agricultural world become obsolete in 15 years, it becomes increasingly important to find ways to move technology more rapidly from research to adoption.

In a study published in HortTechnology, Katie Ellis, Tara Auxt Baugher, and Karen Lewis report on an information technology survey that was designed to better understand concerns and design effective outreach methods for the tree fruit industry. The survey was part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative project titled Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops (CASC).

"The project aims to accelerate technology adoption by analyzing its return on investment and identifying and mitigating barriers to adoption", said Ellis, corresponding author of the study.

"Low adoption rates are largely the product of skepticism, which can lead to weaknesses in the commercialization process and affect future research and product development."

The authors analyzed survey responses obtained from attendees at tree fruit meetings in the Pacific northwestern and eastern United States. Results showed that many of the misgivings about new automated technologies, such as equipment cost and reliability of harvest assist, sensor systems, and fully automated harvest machinery, were consistent across the country.

The results indicated subtle differences between the eastern U.S. and Pacific northwestern U.S. responses, including justifiable equipment price points and irrigation and pest concerns.

"These are likely attributable to regional differences in climate, operation size and scale, and marketing strategies", said the researchers.

Orchard owners and managers identified fuel costs, labor regulations, labor costs, insurance costs, and market conditions as the most important external influences on their businesses. Water availability/cost and quarantine regulations were least important.

These responses have implications for future research and outreach efforts; studies that emphasize economic analyses with evidence of increased returns and workforce productivity will be important.

Another survey finding supported previous research showing that growers place a high value on "in my backyard" field trials and are more likely to adopt innovations that are developed or tested locally. Survey responses from tree fruit growers indicated a desire to see technological benefits through on-farm trials, particularly in the eastern United States.

"CASC members designed this project to bridge the gap between developer and end user. The survey data will help the project team better address grower concerns and uncertainty on a regional and national level, thereby improving adoption speed and rates after CASC-developed technologies are rolled out", the authors concluded.

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortTechnology electronic journal web site here.

Related Links
American Society for Horticultural Science
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Healthier hot dogs an impossibility of food science
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 12, 2011
In part of an effort to replace animal fat in hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers and other foods with healthier fat, scientists are reporting an advance in solving the mystery of why hot dogs develop an unpleasant tough texture when vegetable oils pinch hit for animal fat. A report on their study appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Anna M. Herrero and colleagues e ... read more

Astrium awarded Sentinel 5 Precursor contract

ESA selects Astrium to build Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite

Jason-1 Achieves a One-Decade Landmark

Landsat satellites Track Yellowstone Underground Heat

Lightweight GPS tags help research track animals of all sizes

Russia to put two more Glonass satellites into operation

Germans join probe of mobile phone tracker

China launches 10th satellite for independent navigation system

Climate change blamed for dead trees in Africa

Ecologists fume as Brazil Senate OKs forestry reform

Brazil cracks down on illegal logging in Amazon

Palm planters blamed for Borneo monkey's decline

Switchgrass as bioenergy feedstock

Turning Pig Manure into Oil Fosters Sustainability in a Crowded World

US Biofuel Camelina Production Set to Soar

US Navy in big biofuel purchase

Affordable Solar: It's Closer Than You Think

True South Renewables To Commission 10MW Solar Power Project

Italy Set to Surpass Germany as World's Leading Solar Market This Year

Breakthrough design will produce conversion efficiency far in excess of current solar technology

Models test terrain effect on wind turbine

Campbell Scientific selects ZephIR wind lidar technology for US wind market

British wind turbine factory said a 'go'

Wind farm fuels Ethiopia's green power ambitions

Four trapped miners found dead in China: Govt

Five rescued from collapsed Chinese mine

Coal mine collapse traps 12 in China

Death toll in China mine blast rises to 34

China frees cyber dissident after eight years in jail

Besieged China villagers vow to keep up protests

China police block access to riot-hit village: locals

China detains two for 'spreading rumour' on web


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement