Influencing incentives for precision agricultural technologies within European arable farming systems

AP Barnes, I Soto, V Eory, B Beck, AT Balafoutis, B Sanchez, J Vangeyte, S Fountas, T van der Wal, M Gomez-Barbero

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Precision agriculture technologies (PATs) offer an approach to arable systems which both enhance productivity and minimise environmental harm. Despite expected economic gains uptake by farmers has been low. This paper explores the intended adoption of PATs through a survey of 971 farmers growing wheat, potato and cotton in five European countries. We apply a count data modelling framework to accommodate the inherent structural differences between the current adopters and non-adopters of PATs. This is augmented by qualitative analysis of the main thematic reasons for intended uptake. Results indicate non-adopters have more belief in their knowledge of field topology and are generally older than current adopters. Those non-adopters intending to adopt PATs in the future are more favourable to a wider range of incentives than current adopters. Attitudinal differences towards the economic certainty of investment and payback periods also emerge. The results indicate that a gradient of adoption is occurring within European arable farming systems which may lead to inequalities in technology access. Recognition of these differences at policy level could lead to cost-effective interventions which maximise uptake, generate returns to candidate farmers and meet policy desires for sustainable agricultural production in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66 - 74
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Early online date26 Dec 2018
Publication statusPrint publication - Mar 2019


  • Arable farming
  • Incentives
  • Precision agriculture
  • Zero inflated Poisson regression


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