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Upgrade of the EMA software package to include fruit - HH1943SSF

The Agriculture and Environment Research unit (AERU) in collaboration with a number of collaborating organisations (ADAS, IACR-Rothamsted, WIRS, CSL, SSLRC) have developed a computer-based tool, known as EMA (Environmental Management of Agriculture) to promote and enhance sound environmental practices in agriculture. The original project was funded by MAFF and the Milk Development council. Additional work to extend and upgrade the software has also been funded by MAFF with further support coming from a range of other organisations including BAA, Waitrose and Levington Agriculture.

Despite its unparalleld success regarding the use of software in agriculture EMA has a limitation, as it is currently restricted to arable crops, field vegetables, grass and livestock. Fruit and protected crops have been omitted. Feed back from users during the pilot year has clearly illustrated the demand to extend the system into these areas and to all types of fruit grown in the UK: soft, stone and orchard. This project proposal describes the work that would be required. We will expand the Advisory System of EMA to include a variety of best-practice documents relevant to fruit growing enterprises. New audits including the development of performance indicators will be developed using storing and ranking techniques for orchard management and fruit storage. We eill alao develop electronic data transfer links with software developed by HRI to enable HRI software to interface with EMA (and vic versa) and to eliminate the need for duplication of data entry.
This work will help to underpin the objective of improving the environmental performance of UK farming, help optimise chemical inputs, minimide the use of natural resources and help ensure regulatory complience. EMA will also support policy objectives of improving technology transfer and encourage the agricultural industries use of information technology.
The proposed project objectives are:
1. To extend and adapt the EMA package to enable its application to fruit growing enterprises (all the major UK soft, stone and orchard fruit crops);
2. To provide a tool to assist growers to minimise and optimise chemical inputs to fruit enterprises including the use of IPM techniques;
3. To provide a tool to assist growers to minimise and optimise other inputs to fruit enterprises such as fertilisers, energy and water;
4. To help growers ensure regulatory compliance;
5. To enable data sharing and integral links with other relevant decision support systems.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Upgrade of the EMA software package to include fruit   (67k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2001

Cost: £63,032
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Hertfordshire
Fields of Study