Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority for Ireland, is currently preparing for the go-live (September 2015) of Nutrient Management Planning software tools to serve the nutrient management planning needs of Irish farmers. Using web-based tools, digital mapping, and a nutrient management planning wizard the technology team has developed tools which allow farmers to target increasingly limited nutrients to where they are needed on their farms.
Emphasis has been placed on ease of use as the system will be used by up to five hundred farm advisors, who will use the system to produce Nutrient Management Plans for farmers. Up to 50,000 plans per year will be created using the solution.
In order to help farmers to make full use of their plan the system is presented in a user friendly manner and contains meaningful information that will assist with nutrient use at farm level. This will have advantages for cost effective farming while also taking good environmental practice into account. The new tools provide a centralised web-based software system to deal with fertilizer planning (and subsequently derogation fertilizer plans) and to ensure quality control on the information being delivered to farmer clients. The system is also capable of enhancement over time to reflect changing needs and regulations and will be capable of handling the expected increased demand for Plans over coming years.
The system used best practice IT tools and development approaches using Microsoft .Net plus GIS technologies, and integrates with selected other Teagasc and Department of Agriculture systems for effective management of soil samples, ownership boundaries, land movement systems, and other data required for the nutrient management planning process.