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By Linda D. Whipker and Jay T. Akridge


In the spring of 2009, Crop Life magazine and Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business conducted a survey of crop input dealers for the 14th consecutive year. In February, a questionnaire was mailed to 2500 Crop Life retail crop input dealership readers across the US. (See Appendix I to this report for a copy of the questionnaire.) A total of 258 questionnaires were returned, with 241 being usable. This provided an effective response rate of 9.6 percent, the lowest response rate in the 14 year history of the project. (In prior years, response rates have ranged from a high of 38 percent in 1996 to a low of 11 percent in 2001 and 2008.) Consistent with previous surveys, dealerships were asked questions about the types of precision services they offer and/or use in their businesses, how quickly their customers are adopting precision agriculture practices, and how profitable they are finding precision services to be in their businesses. This year additional questions were asked about the current barriers to adoption in terms of customers, dealers and technology, and their view on what future development in precision technology services would have the most impact on their business. Also explored this year were retailer-manufacturer roles and the changes expected over the next 2 to 3 years.precision agriculture, geographic information systems (GIS), crop input dealer, variable rate application, site-specific agriculture, technology adoption

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