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Conceptual model of a future farm management information system.

The aim of the work presented in this paper is to define and analyse the system boundaries and relevant decision processes for a Farm Management Information System which will meet the requirements of modern farmers.

Year of Publication2010

Future and even current European farmers are experiencing that the managerial tasks for arable farming are shifting to a new paradigm, requiring increased attention to economic viability and the interaction with the surroundings. To this end, an integration of information systems is needed to advise managers of formal instructions, recommended guidelines and documentation requirements for various decision making processes. In the EU funded project FutureFarm, a new model and prototype of a new Farm Information Management System (FMIS) which meets these changing requirements will be developed. The aim of the work presented in this paper is to define and analyse the system boundaries and relevant decision processes for such a novel FMIS as a prerequisite for a dedicated information modelling. The boundaries and scope of the system are described in terms of actors and functionalities, where actors are entities interfacing with the system (e.g. managers, software, databases). In order to analyse the complex and soft systems situations of how to develop an effective FMIS, which effectively meets farmers’ changing needs a conceptual model was developed based on soft systems methodology (SSM) and based on information derived from four pilot farms representing diverse conditions across the EU that are partners of the FutureFarm project. The system components were depicted as part of rich pictures and linked to the subsequent derived conceptual model of the overall system as an outline for the development of the specific FMIS requirements. This research has shown the benefit of using dedicated system analysis methodologies as a preliminary step to the actual design of a novel farm management information system compared with other more rigid and activity oriented system analysis methods.

Citation

Sorensen, C. G.; Fountas, S.; Nash, E.; Pesonen, L.; Bochtis, D.; Pedersen, S. M.; Basso, B.; Blackmore, S. B. (2010) "Conceptual model of a future farm management information system."Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 72 (1) pp 37-47

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Additional keywords/tags

information systemssystem boundaryfuturefarmict
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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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