A normative planning device to link economics with practice: the case of up scaling in dairy farming

Jolien Hamerlinck, Jeroen Buysse, Ludwig Lauwers, Jef Van Meensel

Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC1: Artikels in proceedings van wetenschappelijke congressen, die niet inbegrepen zijn in A1, A2, A3 of P1

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Nowadays, the complexity of farming decisions demands for interactive and communicative planning which takes into account the farm specificity. On the one hand, whole-farm planning techniques become necessary, on the other hand, communicative techniques must help to keep it simple in order to treat problem-driven questions appropriately. This paper describes first-stage results of a process of combining whole-farm planning with communicative techniques in a decision support system for dairy farmers. Scale enlargement, a possible often idealized solution after EU milk quota abolishment, is used as a case. For dairy farmers, helped by their advisers, who want to expand their farm as a reaction to this change, the straightforward question is ”what is the optimal scale for a specific farm?”. The answer to this question is not generic, but proved very farm-specific. The whole-farm approach consists of mathematical programming to capture essential decision influencing factors such as farm and farmer’s characteristics. In this paper we describe an action research between advisers and scientists, which has led to the incorporation of mathematical programming in a DSS that is currently used for advising farmers with growth aspirations. Although farmers and advisers are not familiar with this technique, first results show that it works. Some success factors defined are the fact that every party involved in this research is convinced of the usefulness of implementing mathematical programming in a DSS. It was also clearly stated that advisers were the end user of this tool so a wider range of farmers could be reached. By modelling themselves, the advisers learned a lot about mathematical programming. This ensured that the modelers thought about what was entered into the model and problems were quickly solved. In conclusion the way the results are presented to the farmers is crucial for a successful implementation. However some challenges are still in search of an answer.
TitelIFSA Conference proceedings
Aantal pagina's8
StatusGepubliceerd - 1-apr-2014
Evenement11th European IFSA Symposium - Berlijn, Duitsland
Duur: 1-apr-20144-apr-2014


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