Section 71
Chapter 71,000

Understanding the adoption of smartphone apps in crop protection

Michels, M.; Bonke, V.; Musshoff, O.

Precision Agriculture 21(6): 1209-1226


ISSN/ISBN: 1385-2256
DOI: 10.1007/s11119-020-09715-5
Accession: 070999244

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There is a steady increase in smartphone apps available to improve farmers' decision making with respect to crop protection. While current studies have focused on smartphone adoption in general and farmers' general willingness to pay for crop protection smartphone apps in particular, none have focused on the initial adoption decision. Furthermore, it has not been studied yet which app functions are perceived as useful and which are actually used by farmers. Based on an online survey conducted in 2019 with 207 German farmers, this study investigated latent factors affecting farmers' adoption decision for crop protection smartphone apps based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) framework applying partial least squares equation modelling and a binary logit model. Descriptive results show that 95% of the surveyed farmers use a smartphone, but only 71% use a crop protection smartphone app. Apps providing information about weather, pest scouting and infestations forecasts are perceived as most useful by the majority of farmers. However, reported use fell short of reported usefulness. With respect to the model for the UTAUT, 73% of the variation in the behavioral intention to use a crop protection smartphone app is explained by the model. The results are of interest for policy makers in the field of digitization in agriculture as well as providers and developers of crop protection smartphone apps since the results could be used for further development of apps and policies regarding digitization.

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