Authors: M.B. Lak, F. Khosroanjom (Presented in the 10th International Conference on Precision Agriculture July 18-21, 2010 in Denver, Colorado USA)

 

Abstract

Precision agriculture can influence agricultural operation economy. Site-specific management of inputs can help the producers do more beneficiary. In this study, minimum economical farm sizes for producing irrigated/dry wheat and barley in Hamedan have been estimated considering extra input consumed and the technology implementation costs. The areas were estimated to be 694, 975, 1361, and 420 hectares respectively for irrigated wheat, dry wheat, irrigated barley, and dry barley.

Keywords: Precision agriculture (PA), economical area, wheat, barley, farm size.

Introduction

Hamedan state producers’ average owned land is about 7 ha and each producer provides 14 individuals’ agricultural based requirements (HDA, 2007). Wheat and barley conventional cultivation approaches cause the input application to be more than what is needed; that is, extra costs due to excessive input application.

 

Table1. Recommended and consumed inputs (Source: HAD, 2008)

Crop

Seed

Nitrogen

Phosphorous

Input excessive costs* ($/ha)

Cultivated area (ha)

Total excessive costs** ($)

Recommended amount (kg/ha)

Unit costs ($/kg)

Applicated amount (kg/ha)

Extra costs ($/ha)

Recommended amount (kg/ha)

Unit costs ($/kg)

Applicated amount (kg/ha)

Extra costs ($/ha)

Recommended amount (kg/ha)

Unit costs ($/kg)

Applicated amount (kg/ha)

Extra costs ($/ha)

Irrigated Wheat

180

0.29

227.22

13.60

130

0.10

161.79

3.12

90

0.09

144.71

4.65

21.66

97196

2105265

Dry Wheat

80

0.27

132.32

14.23

50

0.08

55.36

0.45

50

0.08

58.93

0.67

15.38

303245

4663908

Irrigated Barley

180

0.29

210.13

8.59

130

0.08

129.97

0.00

90

0.08

120.04

2.25

11.11

36745

408237

Dry Barley

80

0.27

175.09

25.96

50

0.12

92.58

5.11

50

0.11

91.80

4.68

35.75

28141

1006041

* Input excessive costs = (Applicated amount –Recommended amount) × Unit cost, ** Total excessive costs = Input excessive costs × Cultivated area

 

Methodology

PA can be defined as appropriate amount of inputs according to plants’ needs. Table 1 shows the recommended and applicated amounts. Consequently, excessive costs would be calculated. Table 2 shows costs needed to equip current machines with PA.

 

Machine Field capacity = Machine practicable width × Work speed

 

     Table2*. Precision farming equipment costs ($) (Source: Stombaugh et al, 2003).

Machinery

C (ha/hr)

Number

PC

YM

GPS

GIS

Sensors

Total

Sprayer

3

1

1000/3

 

2500

1000/3

200

3366.67

Planter and Fertilizer

1.5

2

1000/3

 

2×2500

1000/3

200

5866.67

Combine

3

1

1000/3

4000

500

1000/3

600

5766.67

Total

3

 

1000

4000

8000

1000

1000

15000

* Field Capacity (C), Personal Computer (PC), Yield Monitor (YM), Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS)

 

Results

According to Table2, application of precision farming equipments for cereals cost 15000$ for field capacity of 3 ha/hr. Thereby, the minimum economical farm land area for precision agriculture technologies application can be estimated as follow:

 

Number of needed systems (N) = Total excessive costs / Precision farming equipment costs

Minimum economical farm sizes (ha) = (Total cultivated area / N)

 

    Table3. Estimation of minimum economical farm sizes

Crop

Total cultivated area

Number of needed systems

Minimum economical farm sizes

Irrigated Wheat

97196

140

694

Dry Wheat

303245

311

975

Irrigated Barley

36745

27

1361

Dry Barley

28141

67

420

 

Conclusion

Regarding to eq.1&2, minimum economical farm sizes for application of precision agriculture are estimated 694, 975, 1361, and 420 hectares respectively for irrigated wheat, dry wheat, irrigated barley, and dry barley. As a result, dry barley cultivation is preferred to be equipped with precision farming technology, whilst this is not recommended for irrigated barely.

The average of minimum economical farm sizes for cereal cultivation in Hamedan would be 546 hectares and this farm size typically involves 78 utilizer-owned lands. Number of utilizers makes problems for precision farming extension unless they form some farm institutes to provide appropriate services.

 

References

Hamedan Division of Agriculture (HAD). 2008. Production cost system. Office of Statistical Information Technology, Hamedan, Iran.

Hamedan Division of Agriculture (HAD). 2007. Statistical Information, Hamedan, Iran.

Iran Ministry of Agriculture. 2009. Agricultural Products General Technical Manuals for National Research Centers and Institutes. Agricultural Extension, Education and Research Organization, Office of Research Patterns Investigation and Coordination, Tehran, Iran.

Lak, M.B and M.S. Boluki. 2008. Estimation of Timeliness as an Important Parameter for Mechanized Cultivation Operations in Hamedan, Western Iran. 10th International Congress on Mechanization and Energy in Agriculture, Antalya, Turkey.

Stombaugh, T., C. Dillon and S. Shearer. 2003. What Will This Investment Cost. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, USA.

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