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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Application and Testing of Gpfarm: a Farm and Ranch Decision Support Systemfor Evaluating Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Enterprises

Authors
item Dunn, Gale
item Weltz, Mark
item McMaster, Gregory
item Ascough, James
item Shaffer, Marvin
item Palic, Daniel
item Vandenberg, Bruce
item Bartling, Patricia
item Edmunds, Debora
item Hoag, D - COLORADO STATE UNIV
item Ahuja, Lajpat

Submitted to: Acta Horticulture Proceedings
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 2002
Publication Date: November 25, 2002
Citation: Dunn, G.H., Weltz, M.A., Mcmaster, G.S., Ascough Ii, J.C., Shaffer, M.J., Palic, D.B., Vandenberg, B.C., Bartling, P.N., Edmunds, D.A., Hoag, D.L., Ahuja, L.R. 2002. Application and testing of gpfarm: a farm and ranch decision support systemfor evaluating economic and environmental sustainability of agricultural enterprises. Acta Horticulture (ISHS) 593:171-177. www.actahort.og/books/593/593_22.htm

Interpretive Summary: GPFARM is a decision support system (DSS) software program currently being developed by the USDA-ARS Great Plains Systems Research Unit. The primary goal of the Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management (GPFARM) DSS is to provide farmers and ranchers with a strategic tool to evaluate long-term effects of management and resource allocation on economi iand environmental sustainability. The software program incorporates three stand-alone components: a science simulation model, and economic analysis tool, and a WWW-based agricultural information system. The simulation mode can be run with either historical or generated climate data. The economic analysis tool calculates costs and returns from either model simulation out or actual farm/ranch enterprise data. GPFARM is currently being evaluated tested in many ways. This paper focuses on our on-farm/ranch testing in collaboration with producers in three states. Two levels of on-farm testin nare being performed. The first level, referred to as enterprise testing, collects whole farm or ranch enterprise data for resources (e.g., soils), management practices, and economics. This information is entered into GPFA simulations are run, and output is evaluated by cooperators. The second le of testing, referred to as scientific testing, involves collecting similar information as in enterprise testing, however, soil sampling and analyses a conducted at planting and harvest on select fields. In addition, crop yiel (determined by yield monitors) are analyzed, and on-site precipitation is collected during the growing season. We conclude this paper with valuable lessons learned in working with cooperators and conducting on-farm/ranch testing of the GPFARM DSS.

Technical Abstract: GPFARM is a decision support system (DSS) software program currently being developed by the USDA-ARS Great Plains Systems Research Unit. The primary goal of the Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management (GPFARM) DSS is to provide farmers and ranchers with a strategic tool to evaluate long-term effects of management and resource allocation on economi iand environmental sustainability. The software program incorporates three stand-alone components: a science simulation model, and economic analysis tool, and a WWW-based agricultural information system. The simulation mode can be run with either historical or generated climate data. The economic analysis tool calculates costs and returns from either model simulation out or actual farm/ranch enterprise data. Evaluating and testing GPFARM is bei accomplished in many ways and on various levels. This paper focuses on GPF on-farm/ranch testing in collaboration with producers in three states. Two olevels of on-farm testing are being performed in order to validate GPFARM. the first, referred to as enterprise testing, detailed whole farm or ranch enterprise data are collected on resources (e.g., soils), management practices, and economics. The information is entered into GPFARM, simulati are run, and system output is evaluated by cooperators. The second level o testing, referred to as scientific testing, involves collecting similar information as in enterprise testing, however, soil sampling and analysis a conducted at planting and harvest on select fields. In addition, crop yiel (determined by yield monitors) are analyzed, and on-site precipitation is collected during the growing season. We conclude this paper with valuable lessons learned in working with cooperators and conducting on-farm/ranch testing of the GPFARM DSS.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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