Version 1.0 of GPFARM should be released sometime this fall.
"GPFARM should lead to better decisions--economic as well as environmental--on a host of variables like applying water, fertilizers, and pesticides," he says.
"GPFARM will allow managers to design and compare alternative strategies on the computer before implementing them in the field," Ahuja says.
Then GPFARM simulates biological, chemical, and physical interactions between soils, crops, animals, and climate.
Future versions of GPFARM will use geographic information system (GIS) technology--a computerized approach to storing and analyzing geographic data.
GPFARM will be available free of charge either on CD-ROM or via downloading from the lab's web site at www.gpsr.colostate.edu/GPSR.
In Section 4, producers were asked specifically about GPFARM and related decision aid software programs and use.
This survey was primarily concerned with the GPFARM DSS information.
However, reducing impacts on the environment or comparing environmental and economic tradeoffs, which are the foundations of programs like Planetor and GPFARM, were rated only 2.4 on a 4 point scale by producers, which is halfway between somewhat likely and likely.
All producers, including those without computers, were asked if they were interested in a decision aid product similar to GPFARM. This question was phrased to ask about farm management decision aids in general, rather than GPFARM or any other specific decision support tool.
Incentives to use these advisors would be a decisive element for using software like GPFARM or Planetor.