Date of this Version
A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Science
Major: Natural Resource Sciences
Under the supervision of Professors Andrew Little and Christopher Chizinski
Lincoln, Nebraska, August 2023
Advisors: Andrew Little, Christopher Chizinski
To gain insights into the challenges faced by Nebraska farmers and landowners when adopting precision agriculture technologies, I analyzed data collected from a 2022 survey involving 7,503 participants, consisting of producers and farmland owners from across the state of Nebraska. The primary objective was to provide valuable insights for agencies seeking to improve their precision agriculture and conservation outreach efforts for the benefit of conservation and Nebraskan farmers and landowners. This study aimed to understand key factors influencing adoption behaviors by evaluating the constraints to precision agriculture adoption, assessing the impact of producer and landowner characteristics on these constraints, identifying preferred communication sources, and examining their effect on conservation program application. Additionally, I investigated the influence of the organization or individual a producer or landowner worked with on their satisfaction with expert advice they received. The results of my research found that financial limitations ranked as the most substantial constraint to the adoption of precision agriculture. In addition, specific characteristics of respondents, such as whether they were renters or first-generation farmers or farmland owners, significantly impacted the respondent’s constraints. With respect to communication preferences, respondents indicated a strong preference for receiving precision agriculture information from sources like friends, family, and peers, farm equipment manufacturers, and farmers' organizations. However, even though non-governmental agencies received a lower overall preference rating, I found that respondents who preferred information from non-governmental agencies were more likely to have applied for a conservation program. This highlights the need for fostering collaboration between government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private entities. Furthermore, my research revealed that overall satisfaction with expert advice increased as respondents engaged with multiple groups, further underscoring the significance of collaboration in advancing conservation and precision agriculture endeavors.
Advisors: Andrew Little and Christopher Chizinski