An Exploration of how the Relationship between Farmers and Retailers influences Precision Agriculture Adoption

Duncan, Emily
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University of Guelph

As agricultural production systems attempt to transition to more sustainable practices to increase production and feed a growing world population, technologies such as precision agriculture hold great promise. However, there has been limited research into precision agriculture’s social consequences. This research evaluates precision agriculture’s impact on social relations between farmers and agricultural technology retailers in the cropping and dairy sectors in Ontario, Canada. A mixed methods approach, including analysis of the 2016 Canadian Census of Agriculture and in-depth interviews with farmers and retailers, revealed key trends in adoption patterns, accessibility of technologies, changing social relations, and policy implications of precision agriculture. As precision agriculture innovations continue to be promoted and adopted, this research demonstrates that attention to power relations is crucial in order to make the transition into digital agriculture equitable and sustainable.

precision agriculture, data, power, farmers, agribusiness