Advertisement

The Precision Farming Revolution

  • James E. Addicott
Chapter

Abstract

From night ploughing during World War II to a digital revolution following the millennium, this chapter discusses at a very broad level the shift from conventional to precision farming systems. Many industry experts optimistically appraise precision farming but a debate emerged between advocates and critics who concern about further substitution of local farming knowledge for informatic technologies. To begin addressing these debates, chapter one proceeds to define the topic of the book, precision farming, describing the new wave of innovative agricultural technologies that Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. It takes a look towards future markets to detail some future avenues of advancement in the future of farming. It then outlines the author’s personal research interests, as a member of a farming family, and describes his methods, social settings and geographical location in Somerset, England where this subject was empirically researched. The substantive research aims are made clear: to discover why the precision farming revolution was occurring; why local farmers were investing and detail any outcomes of adoption.

References

  1. AHDB. (2016). Interesting Times: Exceptional Surplus Masks Vulnerability in Global Grain Markets. Available at https://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/press/2016/october/18/interesting-times-exceptional-surplus-masks-vulnerability-in-global-grain-markets.aspx.
  2. Annells, M. (1996). Grounded Theory Method: Philosophical Perspectives, Paradigm of Inquiry, and Postmodernism. Qualitative Health Research, 6, 379–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arable Farming. (2016). Fendt’s Robot Vision of Farms of the Future. Arable Farming, 41. Lancashire: Farmers Guardian.Google Scholar
  4. Asafu-Adjaye, J., Blomqvist, L., Brand, S., et al. (2015). An Ecomodernist Manifesto. http://www.ecomodernism.org.
  5. BBC. (2014). Countryfile: Lancashire. Countryfile. UK: BBC.Google Scholar
  6. Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Beck, U., Bonss, W., & Lau, C. (2003). The Theory of Reflexive Modernization: Problematic, Hypotheses and Research Programme. Theory, Culture & Society, 20, 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Benton, T. (1994). Biology and Social Theory in the Environmental Debate. In T. Benton & M. Redclift (Eds.), Social Theory and the Global Enviroment. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Benton, T. (1996). The Greening of Marxism. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  10. Birks, M., & Mills, J. (2011). Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Blackmore, S. (2003). The Role of Yield Maps in Precision Farming. National Soil Resources Institute, Cranfield University.Google Scholar
  12. BSFP. (2016). The British Survey of Fertiliser Practice: Fertiliser Use on Farm Crops for Crop Year 2015. In The United Kingdom Statistics Authority (Ed.), National Statistics. BSFP. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fertiliser-usage.
  13. Callon, M. (1998). The Laws of the Markets. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  14. Castells, M. (1996). The Rise of the Network Society: The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture (Vol. 1). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  15. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. CNH Industrial. (2016). The CNH Industrial Autonomous Tractor Concept (Full Version). Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7Os5Okf3OQ-t=70.
  17. Defra. (2015a). Agriculture in the United Kingdom. UK Gov. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/agriculture-in-the-united-kingdom-2015.
  18. Defra. (2015b). Food Statistics Pocketbook 2015: In Year Update. National Statistics. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/food-statistics-pocketbook-2015.
  19. Defra. (2016a) Farm Business Survey Rent Data for England by Region: 2008 to 2014. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/farm-rents.
  20. Defra. (2016b). Fertiliser Usage on Farm, England 2014/15—Dataset. In Defra (Ed.), Farm Business Survey. UK Gov. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/farm-business-survey-documents.
  21. Defra. (2016c). Survey of Agriculture: Numbers of Commercial Holdings and Land Areas/Livestock Numbers by Size Group: England (Defra, Ed.). UK Gov. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/structure-of-the-agricultural-industry-in-england-and-the-uk-at-june.
  22. Defra. (2016d). UK Weekly Commodity PRICES: Cereals. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/commodity-prices.
  23. Defra. (2017). Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2016. UK: National Statistics.Google Scholar
  24. Defra and The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP. (2015). Hard-Working UK Farmers Praised for Bumper Harvest. Farming and Food and Farming Industry. UK Gov. http://www.gov.uk/government/news/hard-working-uk-farmers-praised-for-bumper-harvest.
  25. Dickens, P. (1996). Reconstructing Nature. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Dickens, P. (2004). Society & Nature. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  27. Duchy of Cornwall. (2016). Annual Report and Accounts: Year Ended 31st March 2016. UK: Duchy of Cornwall.Google Scholar
  28. Elder-Vass, D. (2012a). The Causal Power of Social Structures: Emergency, Structure and Agency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Elder-Vass, D. (2012b). The Reality of Social Construction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Enzensberger, H. M. (1996). A Critique of Political Ecology. In T. Benton (Ed.), The Greening of Marxism. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Foster, J. B., Clark, B., & York, R. (2010). The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War or the Earth. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  32. Geertz, C. (1988). Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  33. Giddens, A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press in association with Blackwell.Google Scholar
  34. Giedion S. (2013 [1948]). Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History. London: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  35. Huber, J. (2004). New Technologies and Environmental Innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  36. Kline, R., & Pinch, T. (1996). Users as Agents of Technological Change: The Social Construction of the Automobile in the Rural United States. Technology and Culture, 37, 763–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Latour, B. (1993). We Have Never Been Modern. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  38. Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Law, J. (1999). After ANT: Complexity, Naming and Topology. In J. Law & J. Hassard (Eds.), Actor Network Theory and After. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  40. Leroy, A., Hiron, J.-C., & Cooper, O. (2016). The Digital Revolution Is Making Its Mark. The Furrow, UK.Google Scholar
  41. Lowenberg-DeBoer, J. (2015). The Precision Agriculture Revolution: Making the Modern Farmer. Available at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2015-04-20/precision-agriculture-revolution.
  42. Lyotard, J.-F. (1986). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  43. McLuhan, M. (2001). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Ministry of Information. (2001). Land at War: The Official Story of British Farming 1939–1944. London, UK: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  45. Mol, A. P. J. (2003). Globalization and Environmental Reform: The Ecological Modernization of the Global Economy. London: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  46. Mol, A. P. J. (2008). Environmental Reform in the Information Age: The Contours of Informational Governance. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Moulier Boutang, Y. (2011). Cognitive Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  48. OpenAg. (2015). About OpenAg. Available at http://openag.media.mit.edu/hardware/.
  49. Paterson, O. (2019). Sorry Mr Gove, but Theresa May’s Brexit Deal Traps Britain in the EU’s Failing Museum of Farming. The Telegraph, UK.Google Scholar
  50. Pedersen, S. M., & Blackmore, S. B. (2008, August). Agricultural Robots—Applications and Economic Perspectives. In Y. Takahashi (Ed.), Service Robot Applications. Available from http://www.intechopen.com/books/service_robot_applications/agricultural_robots_-_applications_and_economic_perspectives.
  51. Ruddick G. (2015). Farmers Clash with Police in Brussels During Milk and Meat Prices Protest. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/07/farmers-clash-police-brussels-milk-meat-prices-protest.
  52. Sayer, A. (1992). Method in Social Science. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Schrijver, R., Poppe, K., Dewar, D., et al. (2016). Precision Agriculture and the Future of Farming in Europe. In Service EPR (Ed.), Science and Technology Options Assessment. Brussels. http://www.ep.europa.eu/stoa/.
  54. Shirley A. (2014). Farmland Index Q3 2014. In LLP KF (Ed.), Knight Frank Research Reports, KnightFrank.com/Research, Knight Frank.Google Scholar
  55. Spaargaren, G. (2000). Ecological Modernization Theory and the Changing Discourse on Environment and Modernity. In G. Spaargaren, A. P. J. Mol, & F. H. Buttel (Eds.), Environment and Global Modernity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  56. Spaargaren, G., Mol, A. P. J., & Buttel, F. H. (2006). Governing Environmental Flows: Global Challenges to Social Theory. London: The MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tasker, J. (2015a). Farmers Are Being Driven to Suicide by Price Slump, MPs Told. Farmers Weekly. http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/farmers-are-being-driven-to-suicide-by-price-slump-mps-told.htm.
  58. Tsouvalis, J., Seymour, S., & Watkins, C. (2000). Exploring Knowledge-Cultures: Precision Farming, Yield Mapping, and the Expert—Farmer Interface. Environment and Planning, 32, 909–924.Google Scholar
  59. Valuation Office Agency. (2011). Property Market Report 2011: The Annual Guide to the Property Market Across England, Wales and Scotland, 8–11 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/property-market-report-2011.
  60. Weaver M. (2015) Farmers Step Up Milk Price Fight with Morrisons Tractor Blockade. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/07/farmers-step-up-milk-price-protests-morrisons-tractor-blockade.
  61. Wolf, S. A., & Buttel, F. H. (1996). The Political Economy of Precision Farming. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 78, 1269–1274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wolf, S., & Wood, S. (1997). Precision Farming: Environmental Legitimation, Commodification of Information, and Industrial Coordination. Rural Sociology, 62, 180–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wood, M. (2005). The Doomesday Quest: In Search of the Roots of England. London: BBC Books.Google Scholar
  64. Zukerfeld, M. (2017). Knowledge in the Age of Digital Capitalism: An Introduction to Cognitive Materialism. London: University of Westminster Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Addicott
    • 1
  1. 1.BathUK

Personalised recommendations