Current consumers are demanding food that is produced more sustainably, safely and transparently. To meet these demands farm enterprises need to improve production. To support this, a variety of high-tech tools are available. Despite this availability, farmers face difficulties in adopting and integrating them effectively. This paper presents a method to identify bottlenecks that hinder arable farm enterprise integration, in which a reference model serves as a base for models describing arable farm enterprise architectures. This reference model, described in a standard modeling language, shows the interrelations between the business, application and technology layers of farm enterprises. It was validated by two experts with expertise in the creation of reference models of arable farms. This reference model was used to create enterprise architectural descriptions of three arable farms in the Netherlands, showing a series of bottlenecks. The bottlenecks that we found are: nonexistence of services and interfaces to support farm processes, (partly) overlapping applications, inability of applications to share a data repository, skills required of farmers to exchange data and unavailability of business services to configure tools of different vendors. These bottlenecks, applicable for potato production in the Netherlands, were validated with national and international experts who have expertise in arable farming. Based on this validation, we conclude that these bottlenecks are valid for other cultivations and in other countries. This papers shows that our approach, i.e. describing the arable farm enterprise architecture, is also a valuable method to gain insight in different aspects of arable farm enterprise integration and can be used to make the first steps towards prioritizing and removing bottlenecks.
- management information-system
- precision agriculture