Seminar 2007

Making Science Work on the Farm

AGMET organised this workshop to bring together interested parties to establish the best way to
develop agricultural Decision Support Systems (DSS) services in Ireland. The purpose of the day
was to consult with advisors, farmers, scientists and experienced DSS users to ensure that the
DSS tools being developed in Ireland are based on high quality science and are useful at farm

Decision Support Systems have the capacity to assist farmers in making better-informed
decisions for their businesses. Agro-Meteorology has to bring scientific knowledge to farmers and
other end-users in the most practical way possible. The challenge is to develop DSS tools that
are not only based on sound science but are also user friendly. This workshop gave an
opportunity for participants to focus on how provision of DSS services to farmers might be
offered, and to learn from the experiences gained in other countries.

Participants at the workshop were given the chance to use a number of the DSS tools already in
operation and to provide useful feedback to Agmet on the most appropriate method of delivering
these services to farmers and other interested parties. Communication options such as internet,
phone and television were also explored, to ensure that whatever DSS are developed can be
usefully applied.

The workshop met its aims by gaining the participation of farmers, advisors, scientists, agri-ICT
specialists and consultants in order to formulate ideas and opinions on the type of information
that is required and on user interface issues.

These proceedings detail results of a user survey, conducted on the day, which Agmet hopes will
help inform debate on DSS and assist in formulating the best possible services for Irish farmers
and related rural bioresource industries.

The workshop proceedings are available below: