Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

Spring 3-2016


M. H. Castle, B. D. Lubben, J. D. Luck, Factors Influencing Producer Propensity for Data Sharing & Opinions Regarding Precision Agriculture and Big Farm Data, UNL Digital Commons, 2016.


Copyright (c) 2016 Michael H. Castle, Bradley D. Lubben, Joe D. Luck


With its tremendous success by notable companies in varying industries, “big data” has become a hard-to-miss phrase and many believe its usage in agriculture is the future of the industry. However, the potential benefits of using big data come with just as many challenges, ranging from not knowing how to make use of it, to the debate over who owns and has access to it. A survey asking for producers’ opinions on precision agriculture technologies and big farm data was distributed to a sample of agricultural producers across Nebraska. A Poisson regression was used to determine the factors influencing propensity for data sharing and frequency tables were used to examine producer opinions on the topic. Older producers and those not using irrigation in their operation were found to have a lower propensity for sharing their farm-level data. In general, producer understanding of what big data is and how to use it is lacking. Precision agriculture users mostly believe they have seen increases in profits and efficiency due to use, but producers expressed concern over not knowing how to interpret and make use of the data as well as the overall affordability and cost of the technologies producing the data.