Date of Award
Master of Science
Plant and Soil Science
Shoup, W. Dave
Deciding which features to include on a sprayer in order to increase a purchaser's likelihood of buying was a major problem for spray equipment manufacturers. There were several sprayer options that could be included or excluded that affect the retail price of the cotton sprayer. Conjoint analysis was utilized to determine the relative rank and value of features on a cotton sprayer. At the Georgia Cotton Commission Conference, ninety-five respondents completed a sorting of eight cards that each contained groupings of five cotton sprayer feature options. A demographics page was used to identify respondents that were farmer-buyers. The number of participants used in the study was fifty-six. The rankings from this study were entered into SPSS statistical software to retrieve utility values, importance values, and correlations. The analysis of the data showed that the inclusion of chlorophyll sensors had the largest influence on a purchaser's decision to buy. Following this, in terms of importance was presence of wheel shields, type of wheel tread adjustment, and number of spray boom sections. The highest ranking feature combination was three chlorophyll sensors, the presence of shields, hydraulic tread adjustment, and two boom plumbing sections. Chlorophyll sensors were twice as important to respondents as all other features. The respondents were willing to pay the extra cost for the three chlorophyll sensors, proving that the technology was important to them. Once the price increased additionally for the six chlorophyll sensors the respondents' preference for the technology was overshadowed by their preference for price. This showed a strong trade-off with price. It appears that they may be unwilling to pay for the technology because they do not fully understand the benefits of variable rate technology or feel that the technoology cost will not be offset with the benefits.
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