InfoAg: Measuring ROI on the Farm

John DavisAudio, InfoAg

infoag-13-brian-watkinsFarmers want to make sure they get the most for the dollars they invest into their operation, and precision agriculture obviously fits right into that line of thinking. At the 2013 InfoAg Conference on precision agriculture, Brian Watkins, a family farmer from northwest Ohio, did a session called Measuring Tech ROI (Return on Investment) on the Farm.

“Every time you make an investment, you look at the costs and benefits, and sometimes it’s definable, and other times it’s more about the potential,” he said, adding that technology such as auto-steer, boom and planter shut-off and control, and others, are possibly paying off even better than expected.

While machine controls are easier to put numbers on, he said that things like yield maps actually make him a better manager.

“[It’s] made me make decisions in terms of drainage, in terms of some managing fertility differently that made me more money than some of the things we talked about today.”

Brian admitted he is a bit of an ag nerd, but he believes that while the new-ness of a precision farming tool can be a great attractor, he and most other producers really look for what it means to the bottom line.

“I think that all farmers believe that there are some new things that can make them better, but they’re also skeptical of spending money. Some [things] are just fun to try, some of them make your life easier, and some have a good payback. I’d say all of those things have driven us to be informed.”

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Brian here: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Interview with Brian Watkins”]

2013 InfoAg Conference Photo Album