Submitted to: Agricultural Systems
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Chap. 2 of a book titled "Agricultural Systems Modeling and Simulation" is to be published by Marcel Dekker, Inc., in 1996. Editors are R.M. Peart and R.B. Curry. This chapter explains how people making decisions can benefit from information that is produced by simulations of agricultural processes and phenomenon. Included are explanations and discussions of: 1. The decision-making processes that occur within the minds of humans, showing what happens over time; 2. How decisions can be supported by improving the base of information contained in a person's mind, emphasizing that all decisions are made by people; 3. The use of simulations as sources of critical, missing, and/or incomplete data and information that when interpreted and assimilated becomes knowledge; 4. Examples from research on management of grain production systems, as conducted by expert production managers; 5. Discussion of the use of erosion simulations for addressing problems associated with soil loss, sediment, deposition, water quality and environmental impact; 6. Discussion of precise (precision) farming, with potential for better understanding of value of finely tuned resource use; 7. Challenges and opportunities in the present era of information technologies; and 8. A prognosis. This chapter helps to bridge the gap between simulations as mimics of processes and systems and the use of these simulations a sources of missing, or incomplete, information that are needed for decision support. Glimpses of the future show that a farmer's sustainable production can be balanced with the environmentalist's sustainable agriculture so that we can be better environmental stewards and while enjoying a high quality of life!