Automatic Section Control for Planters Cost Calculator

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In the context of Precision Agricultural technologies, Automatic Section Control (ASC) Technology for planters provides control over planting operations such that sections or rows on the planter are turned off in areas of the field that had been previously planted or areas that have been marked not to plant. Potential benefits of this technology are lower seed costs due to reduction in double-planted acres, and improved yield potential in these double-planted areas at harvest time. Reduced cost (i.e., seed savings) and additional revenue (i.e., improved yield) will vary based on field shape and size.

The Automatic Section Control for Planters Cost Calculator (ASCCC) is an interactive computerized decision aid that is designed to help you evaluate potential benefits of this technology (i.e., lower seed, and improved yield potential) and estimate the number of years it would take an investment in ASC for planters to return its original cost through the annual net cash revenue it generates (i.e. savings).

A marginal approach that utilizes partial budgeting techniques[1] is use to ascertain the marginal change in costs and revenues associated with double planting. This approach enabled us to determine the potential profit reduction (per acre) due to double planting and therefore the potential saving associated with the adoption of ASC technology for planters.

ASCCC allows you to develop a custom analysis of the purchase decision based on your farm situation. ASCCC includes default input costs, crop prices, and yields based on UT budgets but they can be change to better reflect your farm operation situation.

Note Regarding Security Settings: The decision-aid file contains macros (examples: buttons for printing and moving from the intro page to the calculator) which are required for the calculator to function properly. Security settings for Microsoft Office or Excel may give you warnings when you open the file regarding the safety of enabling the macros. This will especially be true if your security settings are set to high or very high. The macros in the file must be enabled for the calculator to function properly.

ASCCC Field Diagrams

[1] Kay, R. D. and W.M. Edwards. 1999. Farm Management, Fourth Edition, McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA.

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For additional information, contact Margarita Velandia,