Many technologies have appeared in agriculture to reduce the harmful effects of chemical use. One of these technologies is precision farming technology. Precision farming technology should not be considered as only the latest plant production technology or only a new agro-management tool. It is achieved only when the results of electronics and IT equipment are realized in the variable rate treatments zone-by-zone. The advantages and disadvantages of this technology highly depend on the heterogeneity of soil, the knowledge and attitude of the manager and the staff. This is the reason why opinions about the technology effects are so wide. This paper shows the results of the investigation based on interviews about the adoption and knowledge of precision farming technology among Hungarian crop producers. This technology is mostly used by farms over 300 hectares with young farmers. The most characteristic elements were precision fertilization and tractor guidance. The survey examined three groups of farmers with respect to whether they apply precision farming elements or not. We refer to them as “users”, “planners” and “non-users”. According to the survey, the opinions of the “user” and the “non-user” groups of farmers are not significantly different regarding the impacts of precision farming technology (the main advantages were the change in yield quantity, chemical usage and income). Furthermore, the opinions of the farmers regarding the changes in variable costs resulting from the adoption of precision farming technology were also examined (measured in percent). Box-plot analysis was used for this examination. According to the opinion of the “user” group of farmers, the highest cost savings occurred in fertilizer and herbicide costs.
Modern plant production systems are faced to numerous challenges, for example, they have to satisfy the growing food necessity with moderate environmental damage and to produce quality product with profit. The support of the food needs cannot be solved by giving up the chemicals. Many new or rediscovered technologies have appeared against the harmful effects of the chemicalization of the agricultural production without yield loss or with yield similarity (for example ecological, mid-tech farming and precision farming technologies). Precision farming technology should not be considered as only a modern plant production technology or only a new agro-management tool. In our opinion the precision farming technology is achieved only when the results of electronic and IT equipment are realized and can be differentiated in the variable rate treatments zone-by-zone. The biggest problem with the precision farming technology according to our opinion is that the possible advantages and disadvantages of the technology highly depend on the professional knowledge and attitude of the manager and the staff. Between the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 the own data collection was made for examining the knowledge about the precision farming technology among Hungarian farmers producing field crops. Some interviewed farmers have used precision farming technology for years, some have planned to adopt this technology and some have heard about the technology but does not want to use it. Adaptation of precision farming technology may bring both advantages and disadvantages. According to the scientific literature sources the most important advantage of precision farming technology is the decreasing of the negative environmental impacts. In the survey, non-precision farmers placed this advantage in the 1<sup>st</sup> place, according to the precision farming planners it was in the 2<sup>nd</sup> place, while according to the precision farmers this impact was only on the 8<sup>th</sup> place. Furthermore we examined the opinion of the farmers about the changes in percentages of operational cost, herbicide cost, fertilizer cost and human resource cost resulted by the adaptation of precision farming technology compared to the conventional technology. I used the box-plot analysis for this examination. In summary the biggest cost saving were in the fertilizer cost and herbicide cost according to the opinion of precision farmers.