Integration of Farm Management Information Systems to support real-time management decisions and compliance of management standards
In the future European farmers will have to effectively manage information on and off their farms to improve economic viability and to reduce environmental impact. All three levels, in which agricultural activities need to be harmonized with economical and environmental constraints, require integrated ICT adoption: (i) improvement of farm efficiency; (ii) integration of public goods provided by farming into management strategies; (iii) relating to the environmental and cultural diversity of Europe’s agriculture by addressing the region-farm interaction. In addition, the communication between agriculture and other sectors needs improvement. Crop products for the value added chains must show their provenance through a transparent and certified management strategy and farmers receiving subsidies are requested to respect the environment through compliance of standards. To this end, an integration of information systems is needed to advise managers of formal instructions, recommended guidelines and implications resulting from different scenarios at the point of decision making during the crop cycle. This will help directly with making better decisions as the manager will be helped to be compliant at the point and time of decision making. In FUTUREFARM the appropriate tools and technologies will be conceptually designed, prototypes developed and evaluated under practical conditions. Precision Farming as well as robotics are very data intensive and provide a wealth of information that helps to improve crop management and documentation. Based on these technologies a new Farm Information Management Systems (FMIS) will be developed. As most relevant farm data will be readily available in the proposed information system, or may be automatically integrated using standardised services and documentation in the form of instructions to operators, the certification of crop production process and cross compliance of standards can be generated more easily than with present systems.