Cole Ehmke1 and Dr. Mariah Ehmke1

1Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wyoming



Blockchain is emerging as a new tool agricultural producers, supply chain managers, food suppliers, and retailers may use to coordinate supply networks, facilitate financing, and provide customers with product information. Blockchain provides a decentralized, immutable, and secure verification system for food and agricultural products, from local farms to the global table. The objective of this work is to trace the potential role of blockchain in Wyoming agricultural products and marketing options. While the applications are in the early stages of development, we find that farms or ranches may benefit from a thorough understanding of this technology. Recent changes in Wyoming state law facilitate the development of blockchain. This paper describes the technology, reviews applications within the food system, describes state law changes, and identifies considerations associated with the technology for advisors.


Cole Ehmke is an Extension Specialist with University of Wyoming Extension based in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. His work covers agricultural entrepreneurship topics as well as personal financial resource management. Recent projects have included coordinating the Annie’s Project program of management classes for women in agriculture, creating a regulatory guide for foods ventures, creating a business startup guide for value-added food producers, and helping business managers transition ownership and management to a new generation.


James Mintert1, Nathanael Thompson2, David Widmar3, Courtney Bir4

1Director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture and Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

2Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

3Economist with Agricultural Economic Insights, LLC, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

4Ph.D. candidate in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Corresponding Author: James Mintert,



The objective of this research was to obtain updated estimates of the usage of precision agriculture technology on commercial scale U.S. crop farms. Over 800 U.S. farms with corn, soybean, wheat or cotton enterprises were surveyed to learn of their usage of the following key precision agriculture technologies; yield monitoring, guidance and auto-steer for tractors and harvesters, precision soil sampling and variable rate fertilizer application, variable rate seeding, use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UMAV) and satellite/aerial imagery. Results indicated that these key precision agriculture technologies were more widely used among commercial scale U.S. crop farms than reported previously, ranging as high as 93 and 91 percent for auto-steer and yield monitors, respectively. Variable rate fertilizer application and variable rate seeding were being used by 73 and 60 percent of farms, respectively. Only drones/UMAV were being used by less than half of the farms surveyed. Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents reported that the biggest barrier to adoption of precision agriculture technology was cost suggesting that a majority of U.S. crop producers still find precision agriculture technology’s value proposition at least somewhat problematic.


James Mintert is Director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture and Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University.


Felix Rodriguez-Firpo 1, Thiagarajah Ramilan 1, Nicola M. Shadbolt 1

1Massey University, New Zealand



The dairy industry is an important component of New Zealand economy particularly in terms of foreign exchange earnings, local communities and employment, contributing around 3.5% of NZ’s total GDP annually. The future of the dairy industry can be influenced by consumer trends, the volatility of production, input and output prices, the environmental footprint, and stricter regulations on trade and animal welfare. In a previous study, a series of likely future scenarios had been developed conceptually through a rigorous analysis that involved farmers, researchers, industry participants and a multitude of stakeholders. However, the likely impact of these scenarios at a farm level has not yet been quantified. In an attempt to quantify the implications of these scenarios, this study developed a bio-economic analytical framework. This framework has been empirically applied on a case study dairy farm using FARMAX® whole-farm system software. Future scenarios simulated are “Consumer is King”, “Governments Dictate”, and “Regulation Rules”. Determining the on-farm adjustments and then modelling the impact of these on the case study farm enabled in-depth analysis to occur. The feasibility of each and the economic implications of the changes differed between scenarios. For two of the scenarios, if they eventuate, further on-farm adjustments will be required.


My name is Felix. I am from Argentina, but I have been living in New Zealand since 2014. I hold a BS degree in Business Administration from the Universidad Catolica Argentina (UCA). Since I moved to New Zealand, I have been working in various types of dairy farms across all the country. I started my masters studies at Massey as I wanted to link my business background with my day-to-day experience of working on farms, with the aim of expand and develop my knowledges, while making a contribution to an industry I feel passionate about and to a country that has embrace me and now is the home for my family.My interest in the Future Dairy Farm Systems was born as a consequence of my constant picturing of what the future will look like in a world that is changing so quickly, growing in complexity and uncertainty. I believe that identifying and designing farming systems able to adapt and be resilient will become an important and valuable tool for farmers and the Dairy industry. New Zealand has proved to be a world class player, but to maintain a long-term improvement in productivity and excellence, an efficient and successful configuration of farming systems which contemplates all possible future variables, inside and outside farm-gate, is necessary.


A. Kuipers1, P. Galama1, H. Wemmenhove1

1Expertise Centre for Farm Management and Knowledge Transfer and Livestock Research, Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands

Corresponding author: dr. Abele Kuipers



This paper illustrates how future oriented dairy farmers and researchers in Western Europe work  on  the  farm  business  towards  2030  by presenting  examples  of innovative  practices  and techniques,  which deal  with efficiency and  public  demands.  Future orientation of farmers was analyzed. Cow housing systems, especially dealing with animal welfare demands will be described, and a successful antibiotic case will be presented.  Interest  in grassland  is in revival in Western Europe,  stimulated  by  the  economic  reason   of  utilization  of  permanent   grassland   areas   by ruminants, and the societal wish of having the animals grazing outside. As show-case a city – cow farm interaction project will be presented.


Abele Kuipers is director of Expertise Centre for Farm Management and Knowledge Transfer WUR, the Netherlands; working for Wageningen Livestock Research and guest-employee of Wageningen Economic Research. He is council member of IFMA, General Assembly member of WAAP (World Association for Animal Production) as representative of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), and was for 10 years president of Cattle Commission of EAAP (European Association for Animal Production). His work concentrates on dairy farm systems and management.


Genevieve Clarke1, Terry Griffin2, Cameron Taylor1, Chris Sounness1

1Birchip Cropping Group, Birchip, Victoria, AUS

2Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA



A survey was undertaken across Australia via grower groups specific to cropping systems. The research objective was to capture information regarding farm data collection and use, more specifically looking at the collection and use of yield maps and machinery data. It was found that there is a great interest in digital agriculture technologies with grain growers surveyed across growing regions of Australia. The barriers of connectivity, capability and trust have been identified as areas to overcome to increase adoption and utilisation of digital agriculture technologies and the associated data. With a focus on yield mapping and machinery data, the majority of growers surveyed see potential value in these data but lack the software and capability to extract value. Quantification of Australian growers’ attitudes and barriers to adoption of some digital agriculture technologies was managed through this survey; helping to guide future research and investment.


Genevieve is a research and extension officer at the Birchip cropping group and has been in this role for just over one year. She recently completed an agronomy focused graduate program with Agriculture Victoria after graduating from the University of Sydney. Day to day her work involves taking part in research across areas that affect grain growers in the southern cropping region of Australia.


Gregg Ibendahl 1, Elizabeth A. Yeager 1, and Terry W Griffin1

1Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA



Precision agriculture technologies have been available for adoption and utilization at the farm level for several decades. Some technologies have been readily adopted while others were adopted more slowly. An analysis of 621 Kansas Farm Management Association (KFMA) farmer members provided insights regarding adoption of technology. The likelihood that farms adopt specific technology given that other technology had been adopted are reported. Results indicate some technologies were more readily adopted than others. These results are useful to farmers considering investment in technology, retailers targeting potential technology adopters, and manufacturers in supply chain management.


Dr Ibendahl is an Associate Professor in Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. Dr. Ibendahl grew up on a grain and beef farm in Illinois and worked for a major agricultural seed company before returning to school to earn his PhD. Dr. Ibendahl holds an Extension position at K-State and works in the areas of farm management and agricultural finance


A/Prof. Leanne Wiseman

Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland



This paper describes the changing legal landscape that farmers must navigate when adopting digital farming technologies and modernising their farming enterprises. The digital transformation that is taking place on farms and the enormous amount of farm data that is now being collected, used and stored has highlighted a new range of skills that farmers will need into the future. While the need for digital literacy of farmers has been recognised and is being acted upon with a range of training programs and model smart farms, little attention is being paid to the increasingly complex legal environment that these digital farming technologies bring. Along with digital literacy, farmers also need awareness of their rights and obligations that are created under the new legal arrangements that accompany digital farming technologies. Legal awareness and understanding is now an indispensable tool for digital farming. Empowering farmers with legal awareness of the range of legal issues arising from data licensing agreements, competition and privacy law will reduce the vulnerability that many farmers experience as their industry rapidly transforms. Knowledge of law is power and when farmers are aware of their legal rights and obligations, the commercial relationships within digital farming will hopefully become more transparent, thus more equitable. Ultimately, once trust is re-established between farmers and the broader agri-supply chain, digital farming relationships will be transformed.


Joanne Tingey-Holyoak

UniSA Business School, Adelaide, SA



Primary producers need strategies and tools to assist in monitoring water use with a view to improving physical and financial productivity. Farm accounting systems, if present, lack the sophistication to allow growers to analyse the use, loss and productivity of water to identify areas of potential water savings. Also, emerging farm technologies do not readily link to business systems to provide the optimal real-time financial decision making data. Findings of desk-based technology benchmarking suggest best-practice elements required include production ‘hotspot’ identification and real-time sensory data integration that allows for strategic allocation to all direct and indirect water use drivers.  Key actor interview and producer demand surveys highlight demand exists for a cost-effective integrated water productivity tool, especially in regions where there is a large proportion of irrigated farming. The paper provides preliminary demonstration of how the crucial link can be made between producers’ business systems and resource technology.


Dr Joanne Tingey-Holyoak is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in the Sustainable Engineering, Accounting and Law Group in the UniSA Business School. Since completing her PhD in sustainable dam management on an ARC Discovery Project in 2012, Joanne has had over 40 publications, including in Water Resources Research, three publications in Agricultural Water Management, and also a number of awards, such as the 2013 Emerald Social Impact Award. With a background in farming and industry, strong links to business and Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) status, Joanne’s research has made end-user informed assessments of water accounting and management resulting in policy and practical guidance. Through most recent industry and consulting projects, including a 51-country World Bank study, Joanne is seeking to develop integrated financial and management solutions that enable farmers, policymakers and community and environment groups to maximize efficient and safe management of precious water resources.

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