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Functional requirements for a future farm management information system

Sørensen, C.G., Pesonen, L., Bochtis, D.D., Vougioukas, S.G., Suomi, P.
Computers and electronics in agriculture 2011 v.76 no.2 pp. 266-276
decision making, farm management, farmers, information management, infrastructure, models
As a subsequent step of the conceptual modelling and the information modelling involving the specification of the knowledge content of the decision processes and the involved data imbedded in the information entities, a derivation of the functional requirements was carried out to support and guide the selection of the technological infrastructure of a dedicated farm management information system (FMIS). The study employed the core-task analysis (CTA) method involving a combination of science-based modelling, practice-based modelling, and integrated information modelling. The “process” entities of the information flow model which represent the usage processes of the information, and of the “information” entities which represent the data elements were identified for the specific case of fertilising. This identification of the usage processes as well as the associated data elements showed the complexity of the decision making process within the domain of field operations. In a fully structured and formalised information flow decomposition, many actors are required to deliver information to the decision processes in order to fully emulate the tacit knowledge that the farmer are currently using. Especially, the concept of assisting services has to evolve in order to sustain the need of more automated decision processes in the future. New information management concepts and designs mean that farmers have to be ready to adopt new working habits and perhaps also undergo further training.