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Adoption of Digital Precision Agriculture Technology and Farm Data: A Case Study on Swedish Grain Farmers and On-Combine Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Quality Measurement

Stålhammar, Julia LU and Dietmann, Ludvig LU (2020) INTM01 20201
Innovation Engineering
Abstract
The agricultural industry is going through immense changes due to the rapid growth of the global population and climate change, creating increased pressure on the food supply chain. The use of precision agriculture (PA) technologies have shown benefits that could help solve these challenges. Despite this, there is no consensus among researchers on what aspects affect the adoption of PA technology among farmers. One PA technology that enables grain quality insights is the on-combine NIR solution. The innovation emerged 20 years ago but is, despite proven benefits, still not adopted by Swedish grain farmers. Given the agricultural challenges and the rapid advancement of PA technologies, the purpose of this thesis is to increase knowledge... (More)
The agricultural industry is going through immense changes due to the rapid growth of the global population and climate change, creating increased pressure on the food supply chain. The use of precision agriculture (PA) technologies have shown benefits that could help solve these challenges. Despite this, there is no consensus among researchers on what aspects affect the adoption of PA technology among farmers. One PA technology that enables grain quality insights is the on-combine NIR solution. The innovation emerged 20 years ago but is, despite proven benefits, still not adopted by Swedish grain farmers. Given the agricultural challenges and the rapid advancement of PA technologies, the purpose of this thesis is to increase knowledge about what aspects affect the adoption of PA technology - focusing on on-combine NIR technology and Swedish grain farmers.
This thesis uses an exploratory, abductive and flexible method to investigate this unexplored subject through a qualitative case study. A triangulation methodology was used, consisting of a literature review, expert interviews, secondary data collection, and in-depth interviews with 22 farmers.
The research found six aspects and various factors affecting potential adoption of on-combine NIR technology. The farmers could clearly see the immediate values of the technology, though uncertainties were expressed regarding profitability, decision support and reliability. The technology was seen as most relevant for large farms producing high quality grain. Lantmännen, a cooperative company, was found to have a possible impact on adoption. Usage and sharing of farm data was shown to be crucial in realizing the value of the technology across the grain value chain. Attitudes among farmers towards sharing farm data was found to depend on the context and purpose. In addition, patterns were identified through studying the adoption of PA technologies used by the farmers today. On-combine NIR technology showed similar characteristics as the N-sensor, indicating a slow adoption rate. A high interest in technology was shown to be a key factor, and pioneers were highlighted as important for early adoption of PA technologies. Lastly, the study contributes with suggestions on how to facilitate adoption among Swedish grain farmers. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Lantbruket står inför stora förändringar till följd av en snabb ökning av den globala befolkningsmängden och klimatförändringar som skapar stor press på värdekedjan för matproduktion. Användningen av teknologier för precisionsodling (PA) har visat sig ha fördelar som kan vara en del av lösningen för dessa framtida utmaningar. Trots detta råder det inte konsensus inom forskarkåren om vilka aspekter som påverkar spridningen av PA-teknologier. En PA-teknologi som möjliggör kvalitetsmätning av spannmål är NIR-teknologi på tröskan. Innovationen introducerades för 20 år sedan men har, trots bevisade fördelar, ännu inte spridits bland svenska lantbrukare. Givet framtida utmaningar inom lantbruket och den snabba utvecklingen av PA-teknologier, är... (More)
Lantbruket står inför stora förändringar till följd av en snabb ökning av den globala befolkningsmängden och klimatförändringar som skapar stor press på värdekedjan för matproduktion. Användningen av teknologier för precisionsodling (PA) har visat sig ha fördelar som kan vara en del av lösningen för dessa framtida utmaningar. Trots detta råder det inte konsensus inom forskarkåren om vilka aspekter som påverkar spridningen av PA-teknologier. En PA-teknologi som möjliggör kvalitetsmätning av spannmål är NIR-teknologi på tröskan. Innovationen introducerades för 20 år sedan men har, trots bevisade fördelar, ännu inte spridits bland svenska lantbrukare. Givet framtida utmaningar inom lantbruket och den snabba utvecklingen av PA-teknologier, är syftet med denna studie att öka kunskapen om vilka aspekter som påverkar spridningen av PA-teknologier, med fokus på NIR-teknologi på tröskan och svenska spannmålsodlare.
Detta examensarbete använder en explorativ, abduktiv och flexibel metod för att undersöka detta outforskade ämne genom en kvalitativ fallstudie. Studien baseras på en trianguleringsmetodik bestående av en litteraturstudie, expertintervjuer, sekundärdata samt djupintervjuer med 22 lantbrukare.
Undersökningen resulterade i sex aspekter och ett antal faktorer som påverkar spridningen av NIR-teknologi på tröskan. Lantbrukarna kunde tydligt se det direkta värdet av teknologin, men uttryckte osäkerhet angående lönsamhet, beslutsstöd och pålitlighet. Teknologin var mest relevant för stora lantbruk med produktion av högkvalitativt spannmål. Studien visade att Lantmännen, ett kooperativt företag, har möjligheten att påverka spridningen. Användning och delning av kvalitetsdata visade sig vara avgörande i förverkligandet av teknikens värde över spannmålsvärdekedjan. Lantbrukarnas inställning till datadelning berodde dock på kontexten och syftet med delningen. Vidare identifierades mönster genom att studera spridningen av den PA-teknologi som lantbrukarna använde idag. NIR- mätning på tröskan visade likheter med N-sensorn, vilket indikerar att spridningen kan bli långsam. Ett stort teknikintresse visade sig vara en nyckelfaktor och särskilda pionjärer lyftes fram som betydande för tidig spridning av PA-teknologier. Studien bidrar slutligen med förslag för att underlätta spridningen av NIR-teknologi på tröskan bland svenska spannmålsbönder. (Less)
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author
Stålhammar, Julia LU and Dietmann, Ludvig LU
supervisor
organization
course
INTM01 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Diffusion theory, innovation adoption, precision agriculture, near- infrared spectroscopy, grain value chain, agricultural cooperative, big farm data
language
English
id
9022552
date added to LUP
2020-06-29 08:36:02
date last changed
2020-06-29 08:36:02
@misc{9022552,
  abstract     = {The agricultural industry is going through immense changes due to the rapid growth of the global population and climate change, creating increased pressure on the food supply chain. The use of precision agriculture (PA) technologies have shown benefits that could help solve these challenges. Despite this, there is no consensus among researchers on what aspects affect the adoption of PA technology among farmers. One PA technology that enables grain quality insights is the on-combine NIR solution. The innovation emerged 20 years ago but is, despite proven benefits, still not adopted by Swedish grain farmers. Given the agricultural challenges and the rapid advancement of PA technologies, the purpose of this thesis is to increase knowledge about what aspects affect the adoption of PA technology - focusing on on-combine NIR technology and Swedish grain farmers.
This thesis uses an exploratory, abductive and flexible method to investigate this unexplored subject through a qualitative case study. A triangulation methodology was used, consisting of a literature review, expert interviews, secondary data collection, and in-depth interviews with 22 farmers.
The research found six aspects and various factors affecting potential adoption of on-combine NIR technology. The farmers could clearly see the immediate values of the technology, though uncertainties were expressed regarding profitability, decision support and reliability. The technology was seen as most relevant for large farms producing high quality grain. Lantmännen, a cooperative company, was found to have a possible impact on adoption. Usage and sharing of farm data was shown to be crucial in realizing the value of the technology across the grain value chain. Attitudes among farmers towards sharing farm data was found to depend on the context and purpose. In addition, patterns were identified through studying the adoption of PA technologies used by the farmers today. On-combine NIR technology showed similar characteristics as the N-sensor, indicating a slow adoption rate. A high interest in technology was shown to be a key factor, and pioneers were highlighted as important for early adoption of PA technologies. Lastly, the study contributes with suggestions on how to facilitate adoption among Swedish grain farmers.},
  author       = {Stålhammar, Julia and Dietmann, Ludvig},
  keyword      = {Diffusion theory,innovation adoption,precision agriculture,near- infrared spectroscopy,grain value chain,agricultural cooperative,big farm data},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Adoption of Digital Precision Agriculture Technology and Farm Data: A Case Study on Swedish Grain Farmers and On-Combine Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Quality Measurement},
  year         = {2020},
}