Decision Support Systems for Agriculture: What’s out there?
WHAT IS DSS FOR AGRICULTURE?
Agricultural decision support systems (AgriDSS) are information technology (IT) resources that are designed to help farmers tackle complex problems in crop production, utilizing the best available data and knowledge about scientifically-sound best practices.
These technological systems, support precision agriculture or smart farming approach, which can reduce labour and fertilizer inputs, minimize negative environmental impacts, and also increase yields.
Agricultural decision support systems can incorporate inputs on climate, water, genetic, energy, landscape, human, and economic resources, and ideally provide an analysis of how these factors work together in influencing productivity.
There are a number of systems on the market today. Although the current acceptance of such products among farmers is low, it is expected to change in the future. As world population grows and the availability of arable land diminishes, there is an increasing need to make a smart use of each piece of land.
LEADING AGRICULTURAL DSS PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET:
The award-winning Field Connect™ system uses a system of probes and environmental monitors installed in the field, which are connected to the web and provide data on soil moisture, soil and air temperature, humidity, solar radiation, leaf wetness, rainfall, and wind speed. The data can be seen on a computer or on mobile.
TopCon is a diversified manufacturer of geospatial solutions—both software and hardware—for use across a variety of industries. Their catalogue of agricultural decision support system products includes solutions for preparation and planning, planting and seeding, growing, harvesting, and animal feeding.
Best known for GPS technologies, Trimble has an array of agricultural products, including both field solutions (such as guidance and steering, correction services, flow and application control, yield monitoring, and water management), as well as softwares (farm software, crop advisor software, ag retail software, and food processor software), and agronomics services.
SMART! Fertilizer Management is a unique web platform for optimizing and managing fertilizer use in agriculture, enabling farmers to increase crop yields and reduce fertilizer costs, while protecting the environment.
The platform enables growers to manage fertilizer utilization for any crop at any stage, under any condition and growing method, taking into account the multiple dynamic factors required for optimizing fertilizer use.
Using the right fertilizers and the right amount of fertilizers, on the right timing, will allow better control of the field outcome, and can improve yields significantly. It’s difficult as it is for farmers to find a reliable source for unbiased fertilizer recommendations.