|Heilman, Philip - Phil|
Submitted to: Proceedings of ARS/INIFAP Binational Symposium on Modeling and Remote Sensing in Agriculture
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2004
Publication Date: 7/10/2004
Citation: Heilman, P., Stone, J.J., Sanchez-Cohen, I., Rodriquez, H., Mann, R. 2004. Working smarter: Research and decision support systems in mexican agriculture In: C. Richardson and A. Baez editors. Modeling And Remote Sensing Applied To Agriculture (U.S. And Mexico). Texas A and M Press. College Station, TX. p. 212-236. Interpretive Summary: This chapter will appear in a book about the use of remote sensing and simulation modeling in Mexican agriculture. A decision support system (DSS) can complement remote sensing and simulation modeling by defining the questions to be addressed: what information about the landscape's surface should be collected using remote sensing, and what processes should be simulated by models to assess the effect of management on variables of interest to society? An example of a DSS with a Spanish language interface for water management in an irrigation district is examined. A literature survey and recommendations for the development of DSSs within agricultural research institutions are made. Sharing the effort with other institutions can reduce the cost of developing DSSs, as can the use of recently developed software tools.
Technical Abstract: Decision support systems (DSSs) can be useful tools for agricultural research institutions. A DSS can integrate scientific expertise from a number of specialties and apply that expertise with client groups to resolve salient problems in agriculture. Another contribution is the ability to identify critical research gaps and to garner support for studying those gaps. Declining costs for computer hardware, the maturation of software development tools, and the ability to cooperate with other agricultural research institutions increase the likelihood that DSSs in agriculture can be successfully developed and implemented. An example of a DSS developed in the US and Australia, modified to use a Spanish language interface, is examined to rank management alternatives for an irrigation district near Torreon, in the Mexican State of Coahuila.