Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Harvesting precision information for better farming

European farmers can reap major benefits by utilising state-of-the-art farm-management information systems (FMISs). An EU-backed project has developed tools and systems tailored to farmers' information needs.
Harvesting precision information for better farming
In popular culture, farming still retains a somewhat rustic, low-tech image. However, in the 21st century, agriculture has evolved to become an increasingly high-tech sector. Although farming can benefit from precise information to manage crops better, the information technologies currently available are too complex to move into the agricultural mainstream.

Funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), FUTUREFARM worked to develop more accessible FMIS. The project started off by identifying the current and future data, information and knowledge management needs of farmers.

Through interviews with the managers of pilot farms, FUTUREFARM categorised and evaluated existing management systems and tools. Employing a user-centric approach, the project then produced FMIS specifications, including system boundaries and personal management strategies.

Unsurprisingly, given the current diversity in farm operations, the elements and requirements identified were extremely complex. In addition, to take account of future advances in farming machinery and sensor technologies, FUTUREFARM's FMIS can seamlessly incorporate new functionality and features.

In anticipation of major changes ahead, FUTUREFARM has prepared the ground for the intensive use of precision information and knowledge in the EU agriculture sector.

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