FOAM MARKING IN NO-TILL. GPS technology may offer a profitable option to relying on foam markers when spraying no-tilled crops.

Will Precision Agriculture Pay For No-Tillers?

One of the main factors that influence the purchase of new precision agricultural equipment is the upfront cost, maintain Ohio State University ag engineers Reza Ehsani and Matt Sullivan.

While the price of this equipment has gone down in recent years, there still is a significant number of no-tillers who are concerned about earning a return on their investment from moving into precision agriculture. Yet one of the quickest ways to obtain a payback with these systems is to purchase a GPS guidance systems.

Save Chemicals

The monetary returns can be earned from the reduction in chemical costs along with less acres covered. This means less fuel is used with less wear on your equipment. Other returns on investment for no-tillers may be due to a reduction in spraying stress, increased application speed and the ability to work at night.

The chart below indicates the cost-benefits analysis of a guidance system compared to using a foam marker for spraying 1,500 no-tilled acres. Only overlap is considered in these calculations because it is very difficult to determine the cost of crop loss due to chemical skips. Another assumption made by the engineers is that the overlap for a foam marker system is 10 percent and only 2 percent for GPS.

If these percentage assumptions change, so will the results of the calculation. “The percent of overlap for a foam marker is taken from the literature and the percent of overlap for a guidance system is taken from recent research at Ohio…

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