Poll Shows Iowa Farmers Concerned with E-Data Use by Corporations

New polling data show Iowa farmers are taking advantage of high-tech agriculture practices, and more plan to do so…but some say there’s a downside to using too much technology in farming.

The practice is known as “precision agriculture.” Farmers use things like G-P-S guidance systems, data-based soil moisture maps, and drone surveillance to improve their crop yields.

Rural sociologist J. Arbuckle at Iowa State University says in the poll, that two-thirds of the farmers reported analyzing crop data using electronic yield monitoring systems, which help them measure the number of bushels of grain per acre they’re harvesting in real time…

Eighteen percent of farmers not using yield monitoring systems say they will in the future. But in the poll, more than half said “too much technology” in farming could result in mass consolidation, more corporate operations, and fewer family farms. They also expressed skepticism over what happens to the electronic crop data they collect.

Arbuckle says the benefits of precision agriculture are clear, but 52 percent of the one-thousand poll respondents are concerned their data could be used by the government – to create more regulations and to benefit corporations more than farmers themselves…

More than 70 percent said they’re concerned that precision agriculture will lead to fewer and larger farms.

(thanks to Iowa News Service)

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