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1. What is the problem that we are attempting to solve?

We are attempting to apply the best available information on natural resource management and economics to agricultural decision-making. Part of the effort is to make the most out of the information that is available by defining commonly used management systems, extrapolating observed datasets, and calibrating and improving simulation models. The other part of the effort is applying the resulting information so that producers can understand their options and select improved management systems. We are assuming that the NRCS will handle the development of the components of the system that do not directly relate to the application of improved science.

2. What is the project’s purpose?

The purpose of this project is to facilitate the decision making process for producers to incorporate information on sustainability, offsite effects and profitability. When completed, this system will allow producers to enhance their agricultural planning by giving them a logical framework for decision making based on documented science. The NRCS will be able to provide this improved information without painstaking efforts to simulate each field on their own.

3. Who are the customers of this solution? Who are the other major stakeholders?

The ultimate customers of this system will be the agricultural producers who need to integrate the information that we provide with their objectives and knowledge about their resources to select the management system that meets their objectives within the constraints of the resources they are managing. The NRCS and possibly consultants would use the system to provide technical assistance to producers.

Mock-up Of Work In Progress

We are focusing on Phase II (steps 5,6,and 7) of the NRCS Conservation Planning Process:

Phase II - Decision Support (Understanding the Solutions)

Step 5 - Formulate Alternatives

User zooms in to area of interest:

User defines Resource Management Systems using the CPPE approach:

User provides field specifications:

User creates CPPE matrix:

Step 6 - Evaluate Alternatives

User defines a matrix of alternatives vs. decision criteria:

System provides detailed analysis of model results and observed data by showing graphs:

System provides a budget based on the EconDocs tool:

Step 7- Make Decision

Use the Facilitator decision support tool to make a decision: