Uncle Silas wants to move away from farming since the work is too much for him now. Explain the anatomy of the computer and give him some ideas about developing some work which might bring him an income using computers. You will need to give him some kind of
Uncle Silas is a farmer, and 46 years old, the time when most of the people of his age and trade work double the time, make it large, and make some more money than others. But uncle Silas feels heavy on him to run his farm, the way he has done it for years. Unlike the mass at large in the farmers’ community, uncle has a large farm divided in two distinct categories, crop and dairy, inside his single large boundary of farm yard. This paper is not about a discussion on uncle Silas’ putting off the farming job due to the mounting burden, but about giving a solution, which many farmers do not think of, or have not been able to cope up with the cultural shift in the work environment. An inside coupled with ideas have been put forward to uncle Silas; to him bring an income in his life, using the computer.
An anatomy of the new introduction has been provided to uncle to develop a clear conception about the computerization of his farming activities, away from his tradition method, now which has become too much for him. This way he will get a good hang of the computer applications towards his manually driven farming activities. As he started this business in the childhood with his father, his veteran status expects an exceptional usage of the combination given, which infact, is the concern of this project.
II. Background: Factors of Computer Usage: Computers have hit the agriculture back in 1987. A successful Farming survey during the time, found out that 21% of the farmers were owners, leased holders, or sharing a computer for their farming activities. There was a segment of 24%, who planned to by their computers during the next three years. During early 90s’, the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted another Farming survey for several months in south-central Wisconsin and north-east Kansas, interviewing and spending time with 18 farmers, lastly to discover that of the farmers contacted only 11 owned computers, and seven without any accessibility. The statistics show a negligible shit of little more than just 50%, to the pro-computerized farming technology. This reflects the clear and obvious complications and lack of instructional designing to break the age-old hitches of the manual workers. In the stint of this consultancy, uncle Silas will be kept abreast of the factors that influence the buying behaviour of the farmer community that has been cut alone by the software and hardware agents. Given below are the concerns discussed to understand the operational value of computer in his farm, and how he will upgrade his functional ability, from the entrepreneurship stand-point.
- Complexity of Farm: Like many other farmers, this factor has bothers uncle Silas too, and had left him clueless for quite a long time. But, to logisize the issue, the factor has been dissected into two aspects, which generally fires the hesitation with its contradictory central points, unless one does not receives the proper resources. When the size of the farm is big, its operation system remains complicated. There arises the need of data storage and retrieval system to speed up the operational flow and a seemless database management. Here, computer plays a big role; as uncle Silas has big farm comprising two different categories. Thus, it is obvious that adoption of computerization will shred manual burden from his shoulder. The other aspect that contradicts the given justification is the picture of complicacy and the time factor to enter the data into the system. The idea of complex database and spreadsheet made it worst, where uncle perceived the burn of the cost than the benefits. But, now he has a clear mind for he has the resources that there are data management farms or service farms that manage the entire, update, maintain and help in troubleshooting on the run. As these services were alien to him, the entire concept appeared to be a puzzle maze.
- Degree of External Support: As uncle Silas is inclining towards computer to earn his living, the other old timers in the farm still expressed their wonder about degree of credence of this system, worthy enough to adopt. This is a typical problem of ignorance about the extended external support the farmers are getting in the countries, where computer has hit agriculture. In the United States for instance, The Dairy Herd Improvement Association keeps up-to-date records of the dairy farms, and Kansas State University tenders the computerized accounting printouts through a farm management service. Moreover, there are several banks those offer the financial record keeping, a major part of the data entry and the so-called complicated spreadsheets. Agronomists are there to feed the system with crop records, veterinarians record herd information, and accountants store tax records. Over this, many farmers have subscribed the terminal that displays the minute details of the market and advice. These services are in full strength, where uncle Silas lives. So, it is all about the initial paper works of the service contracts and subscriptions that can make uncle the overseer and decision maker of the farm any where, any time, just with click of the mouse.
- Age: The age factor has its unique excuse that one can not teach an old dog, a new trick. Few weeks back, this was the mouth-piece of uncle Silas too, in his excuse list. Research has showed that the older farmers, who were working on computer, have given these same excuses, even when they were in their 30s. So, there is nothing new about it, except the new learning methods that demonstrate the system as the solution of issues that concern them most. This is the administrative aid a computer can give to run the farm management, which will make uncle’s farm work more articulated and hassle-free.
- Network and Availability of Information: This informational factor is individual in nature and uncle Silas needs to comprehend it in his own way. As, each farm is unique, and have different needs, uncle Silas should follow his own way of learning; the usage of computer in his farm. He can form a network of other computer using farmers to use their combined data extensively as, what matters in the real time usage is the availability of resources to the users. He can even take help of the software support centers, where help is readily available, on the issues related to software, hardware, interface, etc. The networking factor can go to the level of tacking the information of drought or rainfall in different regions through the agricultural software, with the additional description. Knowledge about these things will make it easy for uncle Silas to approach the support providers for solutions (Iddings 1990).
III. Anatomy of Computerized Farming: Uncle Silas can move away from the farming job and can be the entrepreneur, using the enterprising structure of the farm, which he had built up through out his career. Infact, in a survey conducted in New Zealand 98% of participant opined a place for computer in farming. 50% of the farmer category admitted the scope of computer as the income source of agricultural income. All these figures display the developmental stage of this revolutionary shift, a creation of job market as-a-whole. Thus, this is a good time for uncle to start with the concept of computing to generate income from his farm as the available resource business overhead. To perform with this device, he should know the dissection of the same.
- Current Software Usage: As per DPI, in Queensland this publishes an Inventory of Agricultural Software in Australia and New Zealand, which recommends the three main software packages, like financial and physical records and the decision making areas. The Australian Farm Management Society survey further clarified that any farmer, who own computer uses it for cash book recording, budgeting and planning and for writing letters. Very few were using their computers for recording physical records. For the last said job, they rely on their staffs.
- Current Hardware Usage: About the software issue of the computer anatomy, uncle Silas should know and keep mind that the modern up market computers are costly are not user friendly for the farmers as per their technology literacy. It is suggested that he should negotiate an IBM clone machine, which is much user friendly that the Apple Macintosh type. He should choose a machine with of larger memory and hard disc capacity to install the agricultural packages to run his farming turned business. Avoid Apple; it does not support this configuration (Farrer Centre 2005; Batte 2005).
Uncle Silas can use the computer software and hardware to effectively manage his farm and other rural business, using three typical softwares designed for farm like his. These are Financial Management, Livestock Management and Crop Management. Further the range covers, finance, livestock, crops, and single payment scheme and property management. Now, hardware is the system structure that holds the farm and rural business records and meet legislative, cross compliance and performance management requirements. Uncle Silas is advised to check list the service range of the hardware products, which should include sales, installation, support on desktops, laptops, networks, peripherals, email addresses and anti virus (Farmplan 2009).
Using the resources from ICT computer specialist of agriculture in Africa, uncle can rely on the computer technology to draw information on pluviometry (branch of meteorology dealing with measurement of precipitation, e.g. rain), keeping himself well aware of when to sow the crops. Computer in agriculture can also trace the available pasture and water point to graze the cattle, supporting the farmers to navigate the livestock or dairy farmer in case of uncle Silas. In a manner like this, uncle can get involved in the out-door activities of computer farming (African Agriculture 2007).
Gradually, gathering more resources, uncle silas can be more professional to increase the revenue and reduce the cost of his farming activity by using the advanced computer-mapping technologies using Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS), to identify suitable crops by location and season, optimize fertilizer and pesticide quantities, accurately project the yield of a particular crop. A business projection is possible with the use of computer. The GIS uses computerised maps to combine, analyse and display critical information while GPS is for satellite-assisted, remote-sensing data collection to perform the precision farming. These are the tools that display the detailed crop data and factors which may affect crop yield. Farms in the US, Europe and India are actively using computer-mapping technologies to source the most vital information. Thus a global network support can be built by uncle, to keep the flow the business steady (GIS Development 2009; Mather 2004).
Iddings RK & Apps, JW 1990, ‘What Influences Farmers’ Computer Use?’, Journal of Extension, viewed 27 August 2009, <http://departments.agri.huji.ac.il/economics/gelb-what-13.pdf>.
Farrer Centre 2005, COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY IN FARMING, The Regional Institute Ltd., Gosford, viewed 27 August 2009, <http://www.regional.org.au/au/roc/1989/roc198935.htm>.
Farmplan 2009, The essential tools for successful farm management, Reed Business Information, viewed 27 August 2009, <http://www.farmplan.co.uk/>.
African Agriculture 2007, ICT can improve African farming: computer scientist, viewed 27 August 2009, <http://africanagriculture.blogspot.com/2007/03/ict-can-improve-african-farming.html>.
GIS Development 2009, Computer-mapping in agriculture world, viewed 27 August 2009, <http://www.gisdevelopment.net/news/viewn.asp?id=GIS:N_cprxwlqiav>.
Mather, BC 2004, Wireless Networking for Farmers, CBS News, viewed 27 August 2009, <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/18/tech/main624835.shtml>.
Batte, MT 2005, ‘Changing computer use in agriculture: evidence from Ohio’, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 1-13.