Software tools for supporting crop production decisions
de Gooijer, H.C.
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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Parkland Agriculture Research Initiative (PARI) under Canada’s Green Plan, focuses on sustainable agriculture. The PARI Decision Support System (DSS) focuses on conservation farming systems. Producers need sound advice and accurate information on all aspects of their farm operations in order to make appropriate conservation farming decisions while also maintaining the economic viability of their operations. One of the PARI’s programs is the development of a conservation production decision support system (DSS) to support farm managers (i.e. producers) and extension crop specialists. The PAR1 DSS infrastructure provides a “single window” to decision support by providing 3 different levels or types of expertise; basic decision support, advanced decision support and interrelated decision support. Interrelated decision support is the most sophisticated providing decision support for more complex problems with a broader focus. Record keeping plays a major role in the success of any decision support system and the PARI DSS is no different. A sophisticated record keeping system has been developed based on a “folder and tab” user interface and incorporates a database structure for management units. Six goals of the PARI DSS are discussed, with the integration of multiple experts for providing decision support for complex problems being the most important.
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