Péter Balogh – Attila Bai – Ibolya Czibere – Imre Kovách – László Fodor – Ágnes Bujdos – Dénes Sulyok – Zoltán Gabnai – Zoltán Birkner (2021): Economic and Social Barriers of Precision Farming in Hungary, Agronomy, 11(6):1112. (Q1, IF: IF2.67)
Precision farming may play an important role in agricultural innovation. The study focuses on the attitude of Hungarian farmers toward precision farming. Based on the relevant technical literature, we performed a nationally representative questionnaire survey of 594 farmers and deep interviews with experts and farmers (30 persons). As regards the questionnaire, the authors found that the management of the average farm size in Hungary has the highest willingness to innovate and the second highest level of education among the developed clusters. The survey shows undertrained farmers with large farms to be the second most open group, which may result in the partial application of precision farming techniques. One of the most unexpected results of the Precision Farmers’ cluster is that the positive socio-economic utility of precision farming is rated as extremely low. In-depth interviews prove that the use of precision technologies does not increase local social cohesion. Strong organisational isolation of precision farmers prevents the spread of innovation knowledge and precision farming amongst the farming community, and the challenges of competitiveness alone do not force farmers to apply precision farming. Our results may be useful for the establishment of agricultural strategy.