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Decision support tools for agriculture: Towards effective design and delivery

Author

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  • Rose, David C.
  • Sutherland, William J.
  • Parker, Caroline
  • Lobley, Matt
  • Winter, Michael
  • Morris, Carol
  • Twining, Susan
  • Ffoulkes, Charles
  • Amano, Tatsuya
  • Dicks, Lynn V.

Abstract

Decision support tools, usually considered to be software-based, may be an important part of the quest for evidence-based decision-making in agriculture to improve productivity and environmental outputs. These tools can lead users through clear steps and suggest optimal decision paths or may act more as information sources to improve the evidence base for decisions. Yet, despite their availability in a wide range of formats, studies in several countries have shown uptake to be disappointingly low. This paper uses a mixed methods approach to investigate the factors affecting the uptake and use of decision support tools by farmers and advisers in the UK. Through a combination of qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys, we found that fifteen factors are influential in convincing farmers and advisers to use decision support tools, which include usability, cost-effectiveness, performance, relevance to user, and compatibility with compliance demands. This study finds a plethora of agricultural decision support tools in operation in the UK, yet, like other studies, shows that their uptake is low. A better understanding of the fifteen factors identified should lead to more effective design and delivery of tools in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Rose, David C. & Sutherland, William J. & Parker, Caroline & Lobley, Matt & Winter, Michael & Morris, Carol & Twining, Susan & Ffoulkes, Charles & Amano, Tatsuya & Dicks, Lynn V., 2016. "Decision support tools for agriculture: Towards effective design and delivery," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 165-174.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:149:y:2016:i:c:p:165-174
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2016.09.009
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    3. Oyakhilomen Oyinbo & Jordan Chamberlin & Miet Maertens, 2020. "Design of Digital Agricultural Extension Tools: Perspectives from Extension Agents in Nigeria," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(3), pages 798-815, September.
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    6. Tröster, Michael, 2017. "Bildung Einer Kostenfunktion Für Die Ausbringung Von Düngemitteln Unter Berücksichtigung Einer Tourenplanungsroutine Mit Teillieferungen (Sdvrp)," 57th Annual Conference, Weihenstephan, Germany, September 13-15, 2017 262155, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    7. Marius Michels & Wilm Fecke & Jan‐Henning Feil & Oliver Musshoff & Frederike Lülfs‐Baden & Saskia Krone, 2020. "“Anytime, anyplace, anywhere”—A sample selection model of mobile internet adoption in german agriculture," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(2), pages 192-207, April.
    8. Zysk, Elżbieta & Dawidowicz, Agnieszka & Nowak, Magdalena & Figurska, Marta & Źróbek, Sabina & Źróbek, Ryszard & Burandt, Jakub, 2020. "Organizational Aspects Of The Concept Of A Green Cadastre For Rural Areas," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    9. Oyinbo, Oyakhilomen & Chamberlin, Jordan & Vanlauwe, Bernard & Vranken, Liesbet & Kamara, Alpha & Craufurd, Peter & Maertens, Miet, 2018. "Farmers' preferences for site-specific extension services: Evidence from a choice experiment in Nigeria," Working Papers 276175, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
    10. Ditzler, Lenora & Klerkx, Laurens & Chan-Dentoni, Jacqueline & Posthumus, Helena & Krupnik, Timothy J. & Ridaura, Santiago López & Andersson, Jens A. & Baudron, Frédéric & Groot, Jeroen C.J., 2018. "Affordances of agricultural systems analysis tools: A review and framework to enhance tool design and implementation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 20-30.
    11. Rurinda, Jairos & Zingore, Shamie & Jibrin, Jibrin M. & Balemi, Tesfaye & Masuki, Kenneth & Andersson, Jens A. & Pampolino, Mirasol F. & Mohammed, Ibrahim & Mutegi, James & Kamara, Alpha Y. & Vanlauwe, 2020. "Science-based decision support for formulating crop fertilizer recommendations in sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    12. Rose, David C. & Sutherland, William J. & Barnes, Andrew P. & Borthwick, Fiona & Ffoulkes, Charles & Hall, Clare & Moorby, Jon M. & Nicholas-Davies, Phillipa & Twining, Susan & Dicks, Lynn V., 2019. "Integrated farm management for sustainable agriculture: Lessons for knowledge exchange and policy," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 834-842.
    13. Oyinbo, Oyakhilomen & Chamberlin, Jordan & Vanlauwe, Bernard & Vranken, Liesbet & Kamara, Yaya Alpha & Craufurd, Peter & Maertens, Miet, 2019. "Farmers' preferences for high-input agriculture supported by site-specific extension services: Evidence from a choice experiment in Nigeria," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 12-26.
    14. Aminou Arouna & Jeffrey D. Michler & Wilfried G. Yergo & Kazuki Saito, 2021. "One Size Fits All? Experimental Evidence on the Digital Delivery of Personalized Extension Advice in Nigeria," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(2), pages 596-619, March.
    15. Prost, Lorène & Reau, Raymond & Paravano, Laurette & Cerf, Marianne & Jeuffroy, Marie-Hélène, 2018. "Designing agricultural systems from invention to implementation: the contribution of agronomy. Lessons from a case study," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 122-132.
    16. Michels, Marius & von Hobe, Cord-Friedrich & Mußhoff, Oliver, 2020. "Understanding the Adoption of Drones in German Agriculture," 60th Annual Conference, Halle/ Saale, Germany, September 23-25, 2020 305579, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    17. Michels, Marius & Bonke, Vanessa & Mußhoff, Oliver, 2019. "Understanding the adoption of crop protection smartphone apps: An application of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology," DARE Discussion Papers 1905, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    18. Rose, David Christian & Wheeler, Rebecca & Winter, Michael & Lobley, Matt & Chivers, Charlotte-Anne, 2021. "Agriculture 4.0: Making it work for people, production, and the planet," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).

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