The Truth About ROI with Precision Farming Technology

May 31, 2021

The current economic environment has left the agriculture industry spinning. Farmers are looking for ways to maximize profit in a market where input costs tend to exceed commodity pricing. 

When money gets tight and concerns about revenue abound – or you simply want to streamline your business finances – it makes sense to tighten expenses by cutting unnecessary costs and optimizing your spending wherever possible. 

Farmers realize that making one wrong decision can significantly impact their farm, so they are constantly looking for ways to minimize wasted time and resources in order to create a more profitable business. However, spending money on the right things can be a game-changer – and one of those things is precision farming technology. 

Does Precision Ag Pay Off?

One of the most prominent concerns we hear when talking to farmers about purchasing precision ag technology is around cost and ROI. Many farmers believe their equipment is too old, that they are already experienced enough (or alternatively, are new enough that they don’t have the experience) or that they simply won’t get enough in return to make investments in precision ag a top priority – especially when they’re already saddled with extra costs and looming lower commodity prices. 

We’re here to tell you, this isn’t the case! The benefits and ROI of precision farming solutions far outweigh the costs. Here are a few specific misconceptions and the truths we’ve seen to help you further understand how the investment in precision ag solutions can pay off on your farm. 

Experienced vs. New Farmers – Let Technology Do the Work

Farmers that have planted and harvested for years are experienced drivers, so it can be hard to see how precision farming technology will make a big enough difference to justify the cost. No matter how skilled you are, technology is always more accurate. Trimble’s selection of assisted and automated steering systems steers your vehicle on-line with the precision you require, minimizing any skip or overlap pass-to-pass. This also helps you to work longer hours, making it easier to work into the night when needed. Letting precision ag technology take the wheel also significantly reduces fatigue while you’re working in the tractor, which means you can spend your valuable mind space on other field activities. 

24/7 Support for Farmers

We also hear this concern from farmers that are on the other end of the spectrum – those that are just starting out – and don’t have the money to spend on precision farming, especially as they think it will be a huge out-of-pocket expense and they don’t have the experience to make it worthwhile. Trimble’s 24/7/365 customer care is available to help you with any needs, and your local dealer is a great resource to help you quickly and easily get your precision farming solutions set up. Dipping your toe in the water of precision ag technology doesn’t have to be a huge expense. A few simple solutions can completely transform your farm. 

“Precision ag just makes things easier. It’s so much easier to get work done when I can focus on what happens behind the tractor.” – Aron S., North America

Older Equipment? No Problem!

Another scenario we hear frequently is that farmers think their equipment is either too old for precision farming technology or that the technology is not worth it because it’s too expensive. Trimble has a variety of solutions that are affordable and can help increase yields, save time, maximize productivity and increase profits. The GFX-350 display is a great place to start. It is compatible with a variety of steering solutions and expandable if you want to add additional technology options in the future. Trimble also has several options, such as steering platforms, that easily integrate to give that older tractor new life – and also make it more efficient. 

 

Understanding ROI 

Some farmers are simply cost-adverse – and for good reason. You run a lean operation and can’t see that the value or ROI of putting more money out will ever put enough back in your pocket to make up for it. Trimble offers a variety of solutions that aren’t a huge out-of-pocket expense. By investing in the future of agriculture, you’re investing in the future of your farm. We like to think of it as a way to keep your business sustainable in a time where everything seems to be changing.   

Precision Ag Pays for Itself

As an entry point, there are two precision ag solutions we recommend that can quickly pay for themselves – especially for specialty crops like carrots and potatoes. Implement steering pays for itself quickly, as it ensures the implement stays in position on the bed, creating a big advantage for growers to ensure proper placement, minimize crop damage and maximize yields in a short amount of time. 

Additionally, Trimble CenterPoint RTX correction services require the same accuracy licenses as RTK, but without the need for a modem, radio or base station – creating an even lower overall cost and just as accurate correction services. Both of these solutions are a great place to start for those who want to test technology with a lower cost and high return. 

The True Cost of Precision Ag

Overall, ROI and perceived costs tend to be a large barrier to entry for farmers to adopt precision farming solutions. While we can’t always control crop prices or other variables, precision farming gives you the control you need to ensure you are decreasing variable input costs and becoming a more efficient operation. 

To see how just one solution can save money based on your exact farm specifications, check out our newest ROI and savings calculators here: WeedSeeker2 ROI calculator + RTX Input Savings calculator

 

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