Around 40 delegates, including SIP researchers and software manufacturers, attended The Allerton Project, Loddington, for a workshop on decision support systems in September.
The workshop looked at the different types of decision support available for use by farmers and consultants, including software, apps, and paper-based guidance.
In the morning, Professor Caroline Parker (GCU) and Dr David Rose (Cambridge) presented initial results from their work on the Defra SIP. Attendees were then asked to rank the importance of a number of decision areas (e.g. soil management and fertility) for sustainable intensification, and then asked to comment on the existing level of decision support in each area.
In the afternoon, software manufacturers of commonly used systems in the UK were asked to tell the group about the design process of their product, and how they tailored each to the needs of their end users.
The workshop finished with an interesting discussion, looking specifically about how we could get products used more often by farmers and consultants to improve decision-making for sustainable intensification. The word cloud pictured is a collection of words written on a set of sticky notes by delegates outlining the key priorities for decision support design and delivery.
Results from this workshop will help to inform the development of a set of key characteristics of decision support tools.