Motivations and needs for adoption of the agricultural decision support system cropsat in advisory services
This paper presents several strategies employed by advisors in relation to the use of a Swedish agricultural decision support system (AgriDSS) called CropSAT, which is free to use and funded by the Swedish Board of Agriculture. The research questions for the study were: How is extension affected and possibly altered when provided with CropSAT? 2) How can advisory strategies in relation to PA technology use be categorised? Fourteen crop production advisors were interviewed, and the collected data were analysed thematically. The findings revealed four different extension strategies in relation to CropSAT use: 1) I do not use it, 2) I use it if I have to, 3) I use it myself and tell the farmer how to fertilise, and 4) I use it with the farmer. The obtained results indicate that the strategies selected by the advisors varied based on the requests and needs of farmers, the advisors’ personal interests and competences, CropSAT functionality, and uncertainty about how to use it in practice. When using an AgriDSS such as CropSAT in advisory situations, the complexity increases because there are more parameters to consider, and thus it could be experienced as more difficult to make proper decisions. As a result of the combination of technology and agronomy, the advisors requested more support. We argue that this request must be met by research, the authorities and the companies responsible for developing the AgriDSS. We claim that in order to increase the use of AgriDSS to optimise crop treatment at the right time and on the smallest possible scale, there is a need for a change in mind-set by among both advisors and farmers in order to increase sustainability in agriculture.
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