The 2017 Purdue Precision Dealer Survey shares some interesting insight into the adoption of precision soil fertility management. Over 80% of ag dealers offer services like precision soil sampling and variable rate nutrient application. More recent practices such as satellite/aerial imagery are also gaining popularity, with about half of dealers providing these services.
The adoption of precision ag started in the mid 90’s, and it continues to grow, although not as rapidly as expected. Access to these services is not a limiting factor, but adoption still lags. As estimated by dealers in 2017, only 43% of producers are utilizing precision soil sampling, and only 38% are making variable rate applications. This means 5% of growers are spending money on the collection of spatially referenced soil samples and not gaining the benefit of variable rate application of fertilizer inputs.
Looking into the future of precision fertility management, there is tremendous potential and a significant amount of work to be done. These are just a few of the interesting facts contained within the Purdue survey data. To dig into the survey data for yourself, see the full report at http://agribusiness.purdue.edu/files/file/croplife-purdue-2017-precision-dealer-survey-report.pdf .