The most motivated to use precision farming machinery and technologies to improve the sustainability, production and profitability of their farms are largely young farmers (66% under aged 40), whereas 64% of farmers aim to make investments within 12-24 months.
These are the results of a survey recently conducted by the Verona-based Fieragricola, an international event dedicated to agriculture and scheduled from 31 January - 3 February 2018, which involves 700 farmers (64.2%), sub-contractors (7.14%), breeders and operators in the primary sector (28.57%), with farms mostly located in the north-east (55%), the north-west (28%) and the Islands (10%) of Italy.
Over two thirds of the response to Fieragricola's online survey came from young people aged under 40, a percentage that rises to 92% if it also includes the age group from 40 to 50. Of the participants, 57.14% belong to the farm owner category, whereas 14.29% are not owners but are related (children or relatives) to the head of the farm.
Direct investments in mechanization or services. More specifically, 64.29% of the operators who answered the questionnaire stated that they are willing to increase the mechanization processes on their farms by employing “precision farming systems directly managed by the farm', whereas 21.43% intend to increase these activities by relying on sub-contractors.
The precision farming systems considered to be more effective for improving farm performance, and therefore reducing management costs, include satellites connected to harvesting machinery, for tractors and equipment, tools for monitoring the use of plant protection products, and tools for monitoring irrigation and drones.
However, for 58% of participants the best solution remains that of adopting various precision farming tools simultaneously for more effective overall management of their farm.
As expected, almost 86% of participants intend to invest in precision farming over the next 12-24 months, thus confirming a special interest in economic, environmental and social sustainability.
In the innovation process towards precision farming systems, 50% of participants in the survey think that they will 'definitely' rely on an agricultural mechanization company for sub-contracting services, whereas 21.43% stated that they will 'probably' use sub-contractors.
In 2018, Fieragricola will assign even more space to precision farming and livestock farming as a means of improving performance and encouraging competitiveness between farms and within primary supply chains.
Source: Fieragricola News