The Adoption of Unmanned Aerial Systems by Farmers in Texas
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Though Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technology is a promising tool that can aid farmers in production efficiency, little research has been found on the adoption/acceptance of this new technology in agriculture. The study aims to describe Texas farmers’ perspectives regarding UASs and identify the attributes and applications most salient to each perspective. The study used a Q methodological approach to identify the different viewpoints held by 25 Texas crop farmers who reside in five different agricultural regions of the state. Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation theory and previous precision agriculture and UAS adoption studies were used as a conceptual framework to guide this mixed-method study. Identified perspectives include high-tech harvesters (innovators), purposeful propagators (early adopters), and conventional cultivators (laggards). Technical applications of detecting invasive insects and weeds and overall crop health emerged as the primary capabilities of interest for high-tech harvesters and purposeful propagators, accounting for the majority of the farmers in the study. The conventional cultivators showed little interest in technical applications but were interested in UASs reducing labor requirements. Findings suggest that future research and development continue to make the technology more user-friendly and economical while focusing on the application of using UASs to monitor fields proactively to prevent yield losses. Furthermore, steps should be taken to implement statewide trainings, geared towards high-tech harvesters and purposeful propagators, to educate them on this innovation in precision agriculture.
Miles, Misty Vidrine (2019). The Adoption of Unmanned Aerial Systems by Farmers in Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from