HERBICIDE ADVISER: A decision support system to optimise atrazine and chlorsulfuron activity and crop safety

  • Ferris I
  • Frecker T
  • Haigh B
 et al. 
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Abstract

A decision support system to improve the safety and reliability of two residual herbicides atrazine and chlorsulfuron is described. HERBICIDE ADVISER is a modular system and consists of a herbicide simulation model, weather generator, and an expert system front and back end. Additional utilities link remote users in a national network. The user interface has been given a high priority in HERBICIDE ADVISER. Wherever possible, the interface was designed to emulate the dialogue process involved in a typical herbicide telephone inquiry or consultation. Inquiries such as: 'Is it safe to sow a susceptible crop after applying atrazine or chlorsulfuron', 'What are the causes of herbicide failure' and 'Which herbicide rate should I select for optimum control of specific weeds', invoke a site-specific recommendation. Only relevant information is requested from the inquirer. However, extensive on-line help and explanations are available if necessary. Recommendations are checked against the label to ensure that written advice does not conflict with advice on the label. Achievements to date include: (1) development of a central inexpensive multi-user decision support system based on a 80386 personal computer; (2) the availability of affordable and reliable communication software/hardware to support remote users via standard telephone connections; (3) development of userfriendly interfaces to provide agricultural consultants with efficient access to information necessary for 'prescription' herbicide applications; and (4) the provision of a communication network to coordinate herbicide-persistence research and extension across Australia. Remote users now have access to the system and validation is in progress. © 1992.

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Authors

  • I. G. Ferris

  • Toni C. Frecker

  • B. M. Haigh

  • Susan Durrant

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