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Are farmers expert at identifying workable days for tillage ?

Abstract : To plan out the needs for farm machinery, simulating the schedule of tasks might be welcome. Such schedules depend upon soil moisture conditions, and mechanistic models fitted to any local situations are not available. Thus, one has to request expert advice to design empirical models. Could expert advice come from farmers? To answer this question, we tested whether they have a homogeneous way of integrating soil conditions with regards the dates for seedbed preparation and sowing of a spring crop. Farmers were put in the situation of consulting experts and their decision making was investigated. Mathematical classification methods as well as discourse analysis were used to analyse the data. The study demonstrated that farmers: a) used common criteria for differentiating soil conditions; b) for a given soil texture, gave the same date allowing first day tilling operations; and c) chose a date in accordance with an agronomic criterium. Whether these conclusions could be extrapolated to winter gangs, to non-experienced farmers, and to farmers using reduced machinery for tillage is discussed. (© Inra/Elsevier, Paris.)
Mots-clés : JOURS DISPONIBLES
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  • PRODINRA : 138326

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Marianne Cerf, François Papy, Frédérique Angevin. Are farmers expert at identifying workable days for tillage ?. Agronomie, EDP Sciences, 1998, 18 (1), pp.45-59. ⟨hal-02684532⟩

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