Smart farmers

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Danish farmers earn € 18/ha with precision agriculture

According to research conducted for the Danish Ministry of Agriculture, Danish farmers earn an additional € 18 per hectare if they use precision agriculture technology.

The Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), recently published the results of its study ’Economical benefits of using precision agriculture technology’.

As long as the technology is used on at least 72% of the farm’s arable acreage, the average profit of using the technology amounts to € 18/ha. For Denmark as a whole, it amounts to € 34 million annually. When precision agriculture technology is used on the total available acreage, the profit rises to € 62/ha annually and € 160 million as a whole.

Today, about 45% of Danish fields are farmed assisted by RTK-GPS systems. Photo: Photo: SyreN
Today, about 45% of Danish fields are farmed assisted by RTK-GPS systems. Photo: Photo: SyreN

Minister happy with results

Agricultural Minister Ebbe L. Larsen said he is happy with the results of the IFRO study: “The researchers observe a substantial economic advantage that can be obtained in a relatively short period of time.”

The researchers failed to distinguish a societal and environmental benefit. Nonetheless, the IFRO is convinced that a better distribution of fertilisers and reduced and targeted usage of crop protection chemicals helps preserving the environment although they were not able to distinguish the total potential of it. According to other scientific research, precision agriculture however is able to help reduce climate gas emissions.

Need for more projects

The Ministry of Agriculture is investigating in association with the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (LF) whether it is necessary to set up more projects for introducing farmers to precision agriculture technology. Currently, several dozens of arable farmers are involved in a pilot project to investigate how precision agriculture can play a role in the future regulation of farming.

Today, about 45% of Danish fields are farmed assisted by RTK-GPS systems. This acreage however, is farmed by just 16% of all farmers in Denmark.

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