ISU Extension sells information systems for farmers

Wes Griffin

A research bulletin designed to inform farmers on how different information systems can be adapted to their operations is now available for purchase through the ISU Extension office.

The bulletin, “Farm Information Systems: Their Development and Use in Decision Making,” is designed to bring agriculture and technology together through the use of computer equipment.

Research for the bulletin began in 1993 with experimental stations in 13 states, including Iowa. The stations varied depending on the state. For instance, in Oklahoma, the research was on cattle feed lots, while in Iowa, it was hogs and corn.

Robert Jolly, professor of economics, helped prepare the bulletin along with representatives from other states.

“When people think of information systems, they typically think of computers, but the systems are much more extensive,” he said.

“Those who participated in the project learned more about the process and what motivates the producers to use the processes,” said Damona Doyle, agricultural economist at Oklahoma State University. “The bulletin outlines in some detail what producers are using. It can be used as a model for producers and a resource for educators.”

The bulletin explains how information systems were developed and how technology and computers have been adopted to the program.

It also describes case studies on how the information systems have been used to help farmers become more efficient.

“There is more interest because of changing technology,” Jolly said. “It is important in the wide span of economy. Agriculture is slow in terms of changing technology.

“Process monitoring technologies are not adapted much, but they will become more adapted.

“As technology develops, it can do things like modify the markets,” Jolly said. “The bulletin is important with today’s concerns with additives and animal treatment.”

The bulletin can be purchased for $6 at the ISU Extension Distribution Center, at 119 Printing and Publications Building.

The bulletin also can be purchased by contacting Barbara McManus of the Agriculture Communications Department in Room 304 of Curtiss Hall.