2.1. Definitions and Scope
- Agronomists and other farm advisors
- Water quality managers
- Policy makers
- Fertiliser or pesticide manufacturers or suppliers
- N concentrations in the form of total N and/or nitrate and/or ammonium and/or nitrite.
- Pesticide concentrations, where pesticides are defined as any insecticide, herbicide, fungicide, nematicide, acaricide, slimicide, molluscicide and any product related to any of these including any growth regulator, and their relevant metabolites, degradation and reaction products. Relevant was taken to mean any metabolites, degradation and reaction products that have similar properties to their parent pesticides . The pesticides included were those in current professional use in agriculture in the different countries.
2.2. Identification of Relevant DSTs
- number and type of users;
- suitability for use across multiple MS;
- level of complexity;
- ability to meet the needs of actors in the FAIRWAY case study areas.
2.3. Selection, Implementation and Evaluation of DSTs in the Case Studies
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. General Remarks
3.2. Types of DST
- evaluation of current practices;
- strategic advice for farm management and implementation of nitrate/pesticide mitigation measures;
- on-farm operational management.
- combining all the available information for a farm (soil analyses, crop rotation, fertiliser history, specific restrictions in water protected areas);
- optimising yields and thus the amount of N exported from the field;
- improving N-efficiency;
- providing practical information on amounts and timing of fertiliser applications.
3.3. Representation of Mitigation Methods
- Establish cover crops in the autumn;
- Establish riparian buffer strips;
- Extend/reduce grazing season;
- Cultivate land for crops in spring not autumn;
- Cultivate and drill across the slope;
- Early harvesting and establishment of crops in the autumn;
- Do not apply manufactured fertiliser to high-risk areas;
- Calibration of sprayer;
- Fill/mix/clean sprayer in field;
- Avoid plant protection product (PPP) application at high risk timings;
- Drift reduction methods;
- PPP substitution;
- Construct bunded impermeable PPP filling/mixing/cleaning area;
- Treatment of PPP washings through disposal, activated carbon or biobeds.
- choice of pesticide;
- dose rate;
- application technique (drift);
- width of untreated buffer zone.
- land use change;
- cultivation change;
- crop rotation;
- erosion risk reduction measures;
- change in fertiliser application.
3.4. Representation of Economic and Financial Aspects
3.5. Commentary on DST Uptake and Usage
3.6. Barriers to Uptake
- needed to supplement the information provided with their own information and experience;
- wanted the tool to be more user friendly and flexible; it should be written in ‘farmers language’;
- thought that potential economic gain should be explicitly demonstrated.
- time consuming
- too complicated
- lack of user knowledge (on how to identify weeds and diseases)
- competition from human consultants
- lack of confidence
- only chemical solutions recommended
- relevance to user
- compatibility with compliance demands.
3.7. Evaluation of the DSTs in the Case Studies
3.7.1. Barriers to DST Exchange between Countries
3.7.2. Key DST Requirements in Terms of Functionality, Use, and Access
3.7.3. Attitudes towards Decision Support Tools
- A centralized and holistic approach, where data only needs to be entered once;
- Checks to avoid data input errors and avoid wasting time;
- Data input and presentation of results (web-interface, excel-sheet, pdf, etc.) designed to suit user preferences;
- Clear results and outputs (e.g., graphical representations).
- Trustworthy and reliable results (farmers cannot verify the data themselves, so must have confidence not only in the DST, but also in the developers of the DST);
- Availability of supplementary supporting information;
- Frequent updates to ensure compliance with legal requirements (if a farmer is to invest in a DST, then a ‘future proof’ tool is needed).
- the tool is not found to be useful by the farmer;
- the tool might be difficult to understand;
- the DST may require the farmer to spend a lot of time setting it up or learning how to use it;
- the costs outweigh the perceived benefits.
3.8. Wider Perspectives and Future Developments
4. Summary and Conclusions
Conflicts of Interest
|DST||Decision support tool OR|
Software tool OR
Guidance tool OR
|Guidance software OR|
Decision support software OR
Decision support system OR
|Decision management system OR|
Decision assistance tool OR
Financial cost* OR
Social cost* OR
Water quality OR
Weed control OR
Weed manage* OR
Growth regulat* OR
Phenoxyacetic acid OR
|Explanation of acronym|
|Platform (e.g., paper-based tool, phone app, bespoke software)|
|Date developed/released (or planned release date)|
|Member state(s) where developed|
|Member state(s) where currently used|
|Intended end user(s) (e.g., farmer, water quality manager, policy maker)|
|Temporal resolution (e.g., daily, annual, long-term)|
|Real-time component (e.g., incorporating live weather data, soil moisture data feeds etc.)|
|Geographical resolution (e.g., field, catchment, national)|
|Contaminant(s) covered (e.g., nitrate, metaldehyde etc.)|
|Number and type of mitigation measures included|
|Age/provenance of supporting data used to develop the DST|
|Details of validation and testing|
|Frequency of updates|
|Number of users or number of copies distributed/downloaded/purchased|
|Full publication reference|
|Links to any other relevant documentation (e.g., user guides)|
|Additional comments (e.g., shortcomings, obstacles)|
|The level of expertise or training required to use the DST|
|Input data required to run the DST|
|Outputs (including links to water quality and economic or financial aspects)|
|Country-specific calibration or data requirements (including restrictions on use)|
|The language of the DST and any supporting documentation|
|Other useful information (e.g., screenshots of inputs/outputs; how the DST is used in practice)|
|No.||Country||DST Name||Type of DST1||WQI1||WQ2||Mitigation3||Brief Description||Reference|
|1||DE||Düngeplanung||Nutrient||Y||Farm-holistic DST to guide fertiliser purchasing and field-specific distribution. Combines on-farm data (soil nutrient contents, farm manure analysis, etc.), information on crop cultivation (crop rotation, yield level, etc.) with economic factors.|||
|2||DE||ISIP||Nutrient||Y||Process-oriented model which simulates N-mineralisation in the soil and adjusts real-time recommendation for N-fertilisers in winter wheat accordingly.|||
|3||DK||Mark Online||Nutrient/ Pesticide||Y||Used by farmers and advisors for fertiliser planning, optimization and documentation. Covers all aspects of crop management including soil tillage and crop protection. Ensures that pesticides and nutrients are used according to legislation based on data obtained via field trials.|||
|4||DK||Dyrknings-vejledninger||Nutrient/ Pesticide||Manuals for growing a broad range of agricultural crops based on results from field trials. Updated at least annually to inform farmers/advisors on all aspects of Good Agricultural Practice.|||
|5||DK||Plant Protection Online||Pesticide||Used by farmers and advisors to reduce pesticide use and ensure that only legal pesticides are used. The tool gives recommendations on whether or not to spray, dosage and spraying time.|||
|6||DK||CTzoom/CTtools||Nutrient||Y||Estimates nitrate leaching based on N surplus calculations for individual fields. The results are used to define current practices.|||
|7||DK||BEST Kemi||Nutrient||Y||Groundwater management and forecasting DST used by the state and utilities to assess aquifer nitrate and pesticide concentrations. Can also monitor trends in groundwater quality.||NA|
|8||DK||TargetEconN||Nutrient||Y||Integrated economic and biophysical social planning model which minimises the costs of meeting a nutrient load reduction target. Calibrated for the the Danish Fjord Limfjorden watershed and currently being set up for Denmark as a whole. Used for WFD policy advice.|||
|9||FR||PHYTOPIXAL||Pesticide||Y||GIS model based on a combination of indicators relating to the environmental vulnerability of the surface water environment and the agricultural pressure to estimate contamination risk.|||
|10||FR||SIRIS||Pesticide||Classifies pesticides according to their potential to reach surface or groundwater. Results expressed as rankings representing risk. Helps farmers select the best product according environment parameters. Aids pesticide monitoring in waters at regional or local scale.|||
|11||IE||Teagasc NMP online||Nutrient||System for developing farm-scale nutrient management plans for environmental and regulatory purposes. Likely to be used by agricultural consultants on behalf of most farmers.|||
|12||IE||FarmHedge||Pesticide||Commercial phone app to manage feed/fertiliser purchases with a secondary component using farm location to create a set of weather alerts and advice on minimising environmental impact.|||
|13||NL||ANCA||Nutrient||Y||Farm specific assessment of nutrient inputs/outputs and emissions to the environment used by advisors to improve on-farm nutrient efficiency. Used as a monitoring tool to evaluate the effects of mitigation measures and by policy makers to estimate catchment N & P surplus reductions..|||
|14||NL||Adviesbasis CBGV||Nutrient||Recommendations for fertilisation of grassland and maize. N rates specified for different growing conditions e.g., soil type, N release in soil by mineralisation and hydrology (water availability).|||
|15||NL||Beregeningswijzer||Nutrient||Online meteorological data and field data are used to provide optimum irrigation requirements for individual fields. Prevents excess irrigation which could enhance leaching. Preserves optimal soil water content, resulting in higher N uptake and better fertiliser N utilization.|||
|16||NL||BedrijfsWaterWijzer (BWW)||Nutrient||Y||Identifies risks to water quality specific to dairy farms and suggests measures for improvement. The risks are scored qualitatively (Good, Moderate, Insufficient, Bad). Enables farmers to indirectly evaluate the effect of mitigation measures.|||
|17||NL||Bodemconditiescore||Nutrient/ Pesticide||Evaluation method for visual observations of sod density, botanical composition of grass sod, soil density, biological activity, abundance of macro fauna, rooting depth. Optionally also chemical quality of the grass and maize silage. Supports farmers by indicating soil problems.|||
|18||NL||NDICEA||Nutrient||Planner for integrated assessment of N availability for crops. Accounts for crop N demand, expected N availability from artificial fertilisers and manures, crop residues, green manures and soil, as well as leaching and denitrification losses.|||
|19||NL||Environmental Yardstick for Pesticides (Yardstick)||Pesticide||Y||Y||Online version and crop information sheets to support on-farm integrated pesticide management. An offline version evaluates current practices and the effect of mitigation measures. Spraying schemes are evaluated in terms of environmental impact. Provides water utilities with a proxy for the value of programs designed to reduce impacts on groundwater.|||
|20||NL||STONE||Nutrient||Calculates nutrient emissions to water and evaluates the effects of fertiliser policy measures on runoff and leaching of N and P to waters at national and regional levels. Can distinguish processes and sources of runoff and leaching to water. Used by policy makers to introduce effective mitigation measures and allocate source reduction targets|||
|21||NO||Catchment-Lake Modelling Network (CLMN)||Nutrient||Y||Y||Network of process-based, mass-balance models linking climate, hydrology, catchment-scale nutrient dynamics and lake processes. Allows disentangling of the effects of climate change from those of land-use change on lake water quality and phytoplankton growth. Supports decision-making to achieve good water quality and ecological status.|||
|22||NO||Skifteplan||Nutrient||Y||Most commonly used farm level DST for fertiliser application on agricultural fields. Calculates optimal fertilisation rates, to avoid excess N and P in soils and runoff. Also used to record crops grown in each field and year, and other treatments/measures implemented.|||
|23||NO||Agro-Meteo-rological Service||-||Run by NIBIO in collaboration with the Norwegian Met. Office. Provides meteorological data for better management of risks from farm operations in important agricultural districts.|||
|24||SI||Načrtovanje Gnojenja||Nutrient||Assists agricultural advisers/farmers to optimise fertiliser use in all agricultural sectors as annual or multi-year fertiliser plans. Advises on crop rotations.||NA|
|25||SI||Smernice za Strokovno Gnojenje (SSG)||Nutrient||Fertiliser use guidelines which comply with the regulations and requirements for the quality of crops and the preservation of a clean environment. Intended to set a broader framework based on rational expert findings.|||
|26||SI||OECD/EUROSTAT N Balance (OENBAL)||Nutrient||Y||Paper based handbook of methodology for calculating N and P balances in OECD/EU MS. Provides a consistent indicator based on harmonised methodology and definitions. Used to report on Nitrate Directive implantation and prepare legislation/measures for drinking water protection.|||
|27||SI||GROWA-SI||Nutrient||Y||This regional water balance model is the official state model for reporting of Nitrate Directive implementation at a country level. Can calculate groundwater recharge rates and has the capability to account for N balances.||[35,36]|
|28||SI||State Network of Groundwater Monitoring Points (SNGMP)||Nutrient/ Pesticide||Y||State approved water quality monitoring network used by key decision makers. Measured values and their trends over the years serve as one of the base indicators for introducing new measures and indicate the success of previously introduced measures.|||
|29||SI||FITO-INFO||Pesticide||Slovenian public information system for plant protection which includes: plant protection products; related legislation; organism names, descriptions, pictures, weather forecasts etc.|||
|30||UK||PLANET/MANNER||Nutrient||Y||Nutrient management DSTs for use by farmers/advisers for field level nutrient planning and demonstrating compliance with NVZ rules.||[14,15]|
|31||UK||FARMSCOPER||Nutrient/pesticide||Y||Y||Assesses diffuse agricultural pollutant loads on a farm and quantifies the impacts of mitigation methods. Can be customised to reflect management and environmental conditions representative of farming across England & Wales. Contains over 100 mitigation methods.|||
|32||UK||Check it Out||Pesticide||Helps farmers/sprayer operators review and improve spraying practices and reduce the risk of pesticides reaching water. Each aspect of the spraying operation is scored and a total provided.|||
|33||UK||Sentinel Online||Pesticide||Online information system to make key decisions in crop management. Includes: The Pesticide Database; Library; Decision support for crop nutrition, NVZ rules and recommendations; Technical updates; Weed/pests/disease identification etc..||NA|
|34||UK||Procheck||Pesticide||Interactive DST consisting of a pesticide database containing details of product information updated daily. Allows in-field use; includes a multi-criteria search engine for product selection.||NA|
|35||UK||SCIMAP||Nutrient||Y||Helps decision-makers to prioritise activities that protect the water environment. Generates probabilistic risk maps for diffuse pollution from surface pathways within catchments.|||
|36||UK||WaterAware||Pesticide||Phone app estimating risk of selected pesticide movement based on soil type, soil moisture deficit and weather conditions. Uses a traffic light system to advise farmers/sprayer operators when it is safe to apply chemicals or slug pellets.|||
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|Provides Support For:|
|Purpose||Evaluation Current Practices||Strategic Advice, Farm Management and Implementation of Measures||Operational Management|
|To support regional (water quality, agri-environment) policy makers||(6) CTtools|
(7) BEST Kemi
|To support sustainable farm nutrient management||(1) Düngeplanung|
(3) Mark Online
(3) Mark Online
(11) Teagasc NMP Online
(24) Načrtovanje Gnojenja
|Provides Support for:|
|Purpose||Evaluation of Current Practices||Strategic Advice on Farm Management and Implementation of Measures||Operational Management|
|To support regional (water quality, agri-environment) policy makers||(7) BEST Kemi|
|To support sustainable farm pesticide management||(3) Mark Online|
|(3) Mark Online|
(5) Plant Protection Online
|(5) Plant Protection Online|
(32) Check it Out
(33) Sentinel Online
|Case Study Site (Country)||DSTs Selected (Owning Country)||Level||Target Pollutant|
|Aalborg (DK)||Environmental Yardstick for Pesticides (NL)||Farm||Pesticides|
|SIRIS (FR)||Catchment/ region|
|TargetEconN (DK)||Catchment/ region|
|Anglian Region (UK)||Environmental Yardstick for Pesticides (NL)||Farm||Pesticides|
|La Voulzie (FR)||SIRIS (FR)||Catchment||Pesticides|
|Lower Saxony (DE)||Mark Online (DK)||Farm||Nutrients|
|Derg catchment (IE)||SCIMAP (UK)||Catchment/ region||Pesticides|
|Phytopixal (FR);||Catchment/ region|
|Overijssel (NL)||Düngeplanung (DE)||Farm||Nutrients|
|Noord Brabant (NL)||Plant Protection Online (DK)||Farm||Pesticides|
|Baixo Mondego (PT)||MANNER-NPK (UK)||Farm||Nutrients|
|Dravsko Polje (SI)||ANCA (NL)||Farm||Nutrients|
|DST Used for Assessment of Leaching Risk to Groundwater|
|Danish Pesticide Name||Active Ingredients||Approved Dosage||Danish Pesticide Tax1||Plant Protection Online2||SIRIS3||Environmental Yardstick for Pesticides4|
|(Euro per kg or l)||(Load index)||(Rank-ing %)||(EIP at recommended product dose)|
|1.5% SOM||1.5–3% SOM|
|Harmony SX||Thifensulfuron-methyl||15 g/ha||2||63||0||0||0||0|
|Starane 333 HL||Fluroxypyr||0.811 l||9||0.01||71||27||2701||3||270|
|Fighter 480||Bentazon||1.04 l||7||0.19||82||58||519||52||324|
|Roundup Bio||Glyphosate||3.5 l||12||0.17||82||0||0||0||0|
|Reglone||Diquat dibromid||4 l||79||82||0||0||0||0|
|Agil 100 EC||Propaquizafop||1.25 l||13||0.07||47||1||2||0||0|
|Focus Ultra||Cycloxydim||5 l||29||0.01||1300||8000||650||1050|
|Acrobat New||Dimethomorph/mancozeb||1.68 kg||23||91||118||715||8||475|
|Cyperb 100||Cypermethrin||0.4 l||85||0.03||18||0||0||0||0|
|Karate 2,5 WG||Lambda-cyhalothrin||0.3 kg||13||0.01||0||0||0||0|
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