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InfoXT - User-centric mobile information management in automated plant production

  • Publisert 23.02.2008
  • Sist oppdatert 20.05.2011
The Nordic countries are well-known for their high quality agricultural products and good farm management. Family farms are the foundation of Nordic agriculture. Nowadays, external demands on agriculture are increasing, leading to pressures on farms that may become overwhelming. These external demands relate to efficiency, compliance with standards, the environment, ethics and human and animal health.


Frontpage reportInformation management has an important role to play in coping with these demands. Modern ICT provides tools to solve problems and facilitate the development of sustainable agriculture. However, agricultural processes are diverse, comprising disperse systems, and thus a common understanding and concept of information management in agriculture, and in particular plant production, is needed. A common concept assists all actors in the value chain to develop their own processes and products to meet the demand. Availability of skilled labour is a challenge that has to be considered when developing information management concepts in Nordic agriculture. In addition, the information technology developed has to be acceptable to end-users. For that reason, this report adopts a user-centred approach.

This report presents results from a Nordic collaboration in which agricultural and ICT knowledge from the Nordic countries was combined to form a common system concept for information management in mobile plant production working environments, where automation can be used to bring more efficiency. 

Conclusions drawn from the study

  • Efficient information management systems in mobile plant production environments should be internet-based with an open interface.
  • Farm data saved in a central database should be accessible to the farmer via internet servers.
  • Difficulties are often related to manual transfer of data and incompatibility between links in the information chain. There is therefore a need to harmonise or standardise data transfer formats, and to some extent data models, for better economic efficiency. The ISOBUS xml format is suitable for data transfer between mobile work units and databases.
  • Farm Management Information System should be called Active Farm Management Information System, since the farm database must have features that support farming activities and knowledge management. There is a need to develop assisting interactive functions
    • such as automatically programmed features
    • to provide situation/context-aware advice
    • for use in work situations in the field, buildings or farm office
    • which have additional personal/farm-specific services attached.
  • It is important that the communication media and the data transfer networks are reliable and sufficiently powerful to provide a high transfer capacity.
We hope that the results obtained will lead to an open discussion among all actors in the value chain and help them to improve efficiency in their work.

Project duration: 2006 - May 2008
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