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Setting the priorities for future work on nutrient decision support systems - IF0111

Description
The purpose of this project is to 1) consolidate the results of Project ES0204 ‘Agricultural decision support tools for prediction and management of nutrient input and loss: NIL impact’ and update the database developed as part of that project, 2) determine which of the Decision Support Systems (DSS) available currently provide policy makers with the tools to make policy decisions and influence farmer behaviour and 3) make recommendations for the future research and development required to provide policy makers with these tools.

Most of the information for this study will be collected through dialogue with model and DSS developers, academics and other stakeholders. This will be achieved by conducting interviews and holding workshops. A project steering group will be established at the start of the project and will consist of Defra, the Environment Agency and other policy customers. Frequent meetings will be held to ensure that the project delivers the required outcomes.

The results of Project ES0204 will be consolidated and used as a basis for a preliminary discussion with Defra stakeholders to ensure that the outcome of the study meets with their requirements. The database of DSS established in ES0204 will be developed further. Any gaps in the database will be identified and further information will be added, keeping the database in its original format. As far as possible, information within the database will be verified. The aim is to produce a comprehensive but simple database that can be searched easily and utilised by policy makers.

The analysis of DSS will be divided into those aimed at policy support and those aimed at land managers. The information available in the database will be assessed critically. The assessment process will take account of the spatial scale for which the DSS were intended. As far as possible, the sensitivity of each ‘model’ and the level of uncertainty attached to the output will be identified to provide an indication of the level of confidence that users can have in model predictions. The various DSS will be scored according to their appropriateness for addressing the requirements of policy makers. In addition, a gap analysis will be done to identify requirements that are not addressed currently by any of the DSS. The potential for combining DSS with complementary attributes will be assessed. Based on an analysis of the DSS available currently, recommendations will be made on future R & D needs. The best opportunities for improving the value of the most appropriate DSS will be identified and prioritised.

Most DSS relating to land management require weather data as an input. These data may be historical, current or forecast. There is a need to identify a low cost source of quality, appropriate weather data (climate and daily) for land management DSS. A further aim of the project will be to examine opportunities for provision of such data and make recommendations about the best way to take an initiative forward.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Setting the priorities for future work on nutrient manaement decision support systems   (508k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 1   (32k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 10   (40k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 11   (105k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 12   (104k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 13   (40k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 14   (34k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 2   (215k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 3   (26k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 4   (24k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 5   (150k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 6   (31k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 7   (23k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 8   (22k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report Annexe 9   (112k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2008

Cost: £60,149
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Keywords
Allocated - WHRI              
Decision Support              
Decision Support Tools              
Decision support tools for strategic development              
Integrated Farming Systems              
Livestock Farming              
Nutrients              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Sustainable Farming Systems