Improving Farm Management Information Systems with Data Mining

Cagatay Catal*, Ayalew Kassahun, Henk-Jan Hoving

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over the past several years, farm enterprises have grown in size substantially while their number has steadily declined. As the size of their farms grow more and more farmers are deploying information systems, commonly called as Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS), to manage the day to day activities of their farms. The deployment of FMIS enable farmers to capture detailed data that can potentially be analysed by data mining tools to provide valuable information for optimizing the farm enterprises. However, data mining is generally not a common feature of many FMIS. In order to evaluate the suitability of data mining for use in FMIS, we performed two case studies using data captured in FMIS and applying data mining. Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio is chosen because it provides a simple drag-and-drop visual interface that can be used by farm domain experts. We addressed two common problems in dairy farming: calving prediction of dairy cows and prediction of lactation value of milking cows. In both cases we built data mining models and run experiments and our results in both cases indicate that the required data is available from FMIS and data mining techniques provides acceptable performance. We also showed that farm domain experts can easily use a user-friendly and drag-and-drop data mining tools with minimal initial training. Based on the insight from the two case studies and literature study, we identified several decision problems that can be addressed with data mining such as heat prediction and lameness prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-30
JournalBalkan Journal of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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