Frameworks, Strategies and Tools
Edited by M. A. Quaddus and M. A.B. Siddique
Chapter 5: Decision-making and Sustainability in Agricultural Decision Support Systems: A Review and Analysis
Don Kerr and Oscar Imaz
Don Kerr and Oscar Imaz 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter provides an overview of model development in agriculture, in both crop and animal production. It concentrates mainly on developments in Australia, but also relates these efforts to the international scene and provides information on international initiatives. The theme of this book is corporate sustainability; however the term ‘corporate’ in the agricultural sector may have a significantly different meaning to the way it is presented in other chapters in this book. This is because the vast majority of farms worldwide are still family owned small businesses and while corporations are increasingly becoming involved in food production, most of the model development to the present has been for a target audience of small to medium sized, family owned, rural enterprises. In this chapter we identify models and model development in agriculture; however it is impossible to disassociate model development and use from decision support systems (DSS), because in agriculture, DSS is the main conduit for dissemination of model output to end users. Hence the chapter has a strong DSS focus. The chapter is divided into the following sections. Section 2 looks at the history of model development and provides a description of each class of model used in agriculture. Section 3 describes how these models have been used for research and agricultural extension, providing development examples from various industries such as cotton and dairy. Section 4 explores how climate change and other socio technical factors bring new challenges, while section 5 provides insights...
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