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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 852: IV International Symposium on Ecologically Sound Fertilization Strategies for Field Vegetable Production

DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS AND ICT OF THE FUTURE

Author:   I. Thysen
Abstract:
The possibilities and perspectives of agricultural applications integrating decision support systems, farm management systems, wireless communication, geographical positioning system, and pervasive computing is discussed. The vision is automation in arable farming: The farm manager uses a suitable computer system to decide on field operations to be done; his decisions are stored as geo-referenced instructions to a computer-controlled machine. At the time of operation, the data are downloaded and the intelligent machinery will automatically perform as prescribed without intervention from the machine operator. Records of the machine actions are sent back to serve as documentation. It is suggested that this vision will enable a precision agro-environmental regulation, by which farmers and agricultural regulation authorities agree on a geographically distributed farming and environment protection plan. Precision agro-environmental regulation can be designed to provide a better protection in vulnerable areas and higher productivity in non-vulnerable areas. Implementation of automated crop production and precision agro-environmental regulation will require considerable development investments and support schemes and substantial changes in attitudes of farmers as well as of the authorities.
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