Digital Irrigation: Remote Control

Last registered on August 24, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Digital Irrigation: Remote Control
Initial registration date
August 18, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 24, 2023, 6:11 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator

Central South University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The digital revolution is impacting every aspect of life, and the agricultural sector is also undergoing a process of digitization. Among these advancements, remote irrigation control is a fundamental requirement for digitalized irrigation. Currently, there is extensive research on digital agriculture, but most of it is centered around the use of smartphones, with very little attention given to digitalized irrigation. What is the actual adoption of digitalized irrigation in practice? Is it mainly through the use of remote controllers or a combination of special applications in smartphones? Who are the potential future users? What type of remote irrigation control do they prefer? Is equipment cost the primary consideration for farmers?

This study aims to answer the above questions by conducting surveys on real farmers and use information treatment of remote irrigation control (RIC) in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Hebei Province of China, covering approximately 500 large farmers, to find the casual relationship between cost, technology and willingness to pay (WTP) for the RIC.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Song, LiJie. 2023. "Digital Irrigation: Remote Control." AEA RCT Registry. August 24.
Experimental Details


This study focuses on digital irrigation by conducting surveys on real farmers and use information treatment of remote irrigation control (RIC) in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Hebei Province of China. Half of the farmers in the treatment group will randomly receive a brief training on remote control irrigation technology, aimed at improving their understanding of digital irrigation. Control farmers are excluded from the training.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Farmers' willingness to pay (WTP) for adopting remote irrigation control (RIC) technology
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Knowledge information on the remote irrigation control (RIC) technology
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The RCT will be nested in a large-scale field household survey conducted in Hebei Province in China, designed to evaluate the policy impact of Chinese government’s police intervention for groundwater overexploitation control.

The RCT will be conducted for the farmer with farm size larger than 50 mu, approximately 500 professional large farmers.

During the survey, all farmers will be asked to complete a baseline survey to determine their knowledge level of the technology and market information of RIC technology. Each farmer's initial WTP for the technology at the baseline survey status will be collected. Then, farmers in the treatment group will receive the treatment. On the second day of the survey, all farmers, including those in the treatment and control groups, will be phone called to collect updated WTP and knowledge information on the technologies.

After at least one growing season, a follow-up survey will be conducted as the endline survey for the RCT. During the baseline and endline surveys, farmers' agricultural production, non-farm work, living conditions, demographic information, etc., will be collected. Local socioeconomic and natural information will be collected through a village-level questionnaire face-to-face interview, answered by a village leader.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
approximately 500 professional large farmers
Sample size: planned number of observations
approximately 500 professional large farmers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250 farmers control, 250 farmers treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The Institutional Review Board of Finance and Economics Experimental Laboratory
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials