Precision agriculture is an important part of the sustainable intensification of agriculture, where information and communications technology and other technologies are necessary, but not sufficient for sustainable farming systems. The technology must fit into farmers' practice and be handled by their experienced-based, situated knowledge in order to contribute to increased sustainability in their farming. This study analysed the relationship between farmers' experience-based situated knowledge and the use of agricultural decision support systems in order to develop care by farmers in their practice. The theoretical framework of distributed cognition was used as a lens when investigating and analysing farmers' use of an agricultural decision support system called CropSAT developed for calculation of variable rate application files for nitrogen fertilisation from satellite images. In the case study, the unit of analysis was broadened to the whole socio-technical system of farmers' decision-making and learning, including other people and different kinds of tools and artefacts. The results revealed that social contexts could support farmers' development of cognitive strategies for use of agricultural decision support systems, e.g. CropSAT, and could thus facilitate decision-making and learning through development of enhanced professional vision that hopefully may increase farmers' situated knowledge and care in PA.
Agricultural Systems – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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