Smart devices, soil testers, climate sensors, and countless other types of decision support tools are becoming mainstays in traditional farm operations. Perhaps the most groundbreaking of all precision ag tools are unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and the intrigue of putting drone technology to work on the farm has the whole industry buzzing.
Entira, a marketing and management consulting firm for food and agribusiness, is preparing to launch two new multi-client studies, both geared toward learning where farmers stand with these technologies and how they might use them in their own operations.
This fall, Entira will launch "Precision Agriculture and Big Data: Charting the Oceans of Opportunity" and "Unmanned Aerial Systems in Agriculture: A First Look at How New Advancements Could Deliver Value to Farmers." Both studies will include quantitative and in-depth qualitative interviews with industry players and farmers to dig deep into what's driving decisions.
"Our precision ag study is actually the third in-depth research project Entira has led on this sector in recent years. Those conducted in 2010 and 2012 offered a bird's eye view of the rapidly changing landscape in precision agriculture. In this third study, we are turning the focus to the providers of precision agriculture tools and solutions that help growers get a handle on their own big data," said Dave Rye, senior associate, Entira, Inc.
"As adoption of new precision technologies rises steadily, so does the challenge of gaining control of the overwhelming mountains of data these tools provide. Helping farmers understand how to get the most from these technologies is one of the biggest contributions we can make as an industry," Rye said.
Entira is currently enrolling companies as subscribers in both studies, which gives them the opportunity to collaborate on the strategy and line of questions, including proprietary questions tailored to each subscribers' business. The enrollment deadline for the precision ag study is September 15, 2014, while the UAS study enrollment deadline is September 30, 2014. More details about both of the studies is available on Entira's research page.
"Entira has become engrained in the emerging UAS market for agriculture, and it's clear more research is needed to explore grower readiness for this leading edge technology," Rye said.
"We're in a holding pattern right now awaiting final regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration, and we believe it's wise for agribusinesses to use this time to get up to speed with the technology and strategically consider how their businesses might support it. That's what our UAS study is all about: showing agribusinesses what growers need to embrace UAS technology, the value they believe it brings, and how they might put it to work on their operations."
The multi-client study approach allows companies the opportunity to get unbiased, unfiltered opinions straight from leading farmers - at a fraction of the cost of proprietary research. By jointly funding research, companies can gather important information and save internal resources for program implementation.
"Entira has a unique approach to the qualitative phase of our research in that we go straight to the source, spending one-on-one time with farmers to glean their perspective," said Nancy Appelquist, director of operations, Entira. "Most of our associates have connections to production agriculture, so they know how to talk to farmers and can extract really valuable insight during these visits."
Visit www.entira.net to view summaries of the studies and request a prospectus for each.
Entira is a marketing and management consulting firm for food and agribusiness. More information is available at www.entira.net.