4 results for Alvarez, Jorge

  • Computers and information management in Canterbury dairy farming

    Alvarez, Jorge; Nuthall, Peter L.

    Report
    Lincoln University

    For providing systems to support decision making it is important to understand how farmers collect and manage decision information. Using data from a mail survey a ""three-information-area"" and ""four-system-type"" model was tested to describe Canterbury dairy farmer's information management structure. Those using computerised systems in every area were the largest group, but representing only 12% of farmers. Farmers using computerised systems in different information areas show similar characteristics in contrast to non-users, such as having farmed less years, being younger, having larger herds and bigger farms, being more educated, spending more time doing office work, involving more both farm adviser and accountant time, and being more profit oriented. Those who own computers, but do not use computerised information systems, are not statistically different from those not owning computers. The use of computers for managing feed and pasture information seems to be more restricted than for finance and livestock. The relationships among farm management computer use and the farmer's characteristics were checked using single statistical tests, regression and cluster analyses. The research findings are relevant for those aiming to improve farmer information management and also for farm software developers.

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  • Computer use and attitudes for a sample of Canterbury, New Zealand dairy farmers

    Alvarez, Jorge; Nuthall, Peter L.

    Report
    Lincoln University

    With the objective of collecting data for assessing research hypotheses about information management, a mail survey was carried out on Canterbury dairy farmers between July and August of 2000. From a total of 537 questionnaires sent, 300 were received, resulting in 290 usable responses. This report describes the average farm, farm sizes, the manager's dairy farming experience and age, tenancy, education, management teams, non-family people giving a reasonable input into farm decision making, farm office equipment used, computer use, software utilisation, information sources, internet use, farmer goals, and farmer opinions about information management. While almost three quarters of the farmers own a computer, 61% are using computerised systems to manage farm information. Financial management was the most common use of computers with 54.48% of the farmers using them in this way, followed by the livestock area with 35.17%, while only 16.9% of the farmers were using software to support their feed management. Farmers using computerised systems were younger, more educated, and more profit oriented than non-users. This group managed bigger farms, they have been farming less time both in Canterbury and in total, and they also used farm advisers more extensively in their decision making, and they spent more time doing office work.

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  • Canterbury dairy farmers' opinions about using computerised farm information systems

    Alvarez, Jorge; Nuthall, Peter L.

    Report
    Lincoln University

    Canterbury dairy farmers' opinions about computerised systems used for managing farm information were collected through 39 stratified, randomly selected interviews. Farmers who are using software note they can save time, the software supports their farm management work, and it also enables them to use management approaches requiring more detailed information. Farmers who are not using computerised systems, but are considering this possibility, explain they are facing other priorities relative to improving their information systems. They are aware of the computer and software advantages, and they have a positive feeling towards computing technology. Some of them, however, feel insecure about their ability to use computers. Farmers not considering computerised systems believe computer technology is useless for their particular situations. Some farmers think computerised systems are unable to solve their actual farm problems, others feel themselves too old to learn the new technology. The interviews have confirmed ""earlier"" findings from a former mail survey. Key factors associated with the adoption of computer technology are farmer age, directly and through its relationship with farmer education; farmer education itself; the size of the herd; and consultant use intensity and involvement in farm management decision making.

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  • Factors affecting farmer adoption and use of computerised information systems : a case study of Florida, Uruguay, dairy farming

    Alvarez, Jorge; Nuthall, Peter L.

    Report
    Lincoln University

    With the objective of collecting data for assessing research hypotheses about information management, a survey was carried out on Florida, Uruguay dairy farmers between October and November of 2000. A total of 61 farmers were interviewed and asked to fill a survey questionnaire and three psychological test forms. While more than a quarter of the farmers own a computer, 17% are using computerised systems to manage farm information. Livestock management was the most common use of computers with 15% of the farmers using them in this way, followed by the finance area with 5%, while no farmers were using software to support their feed management. Farmers using computerised systems were more educated, and more "success in farming"" oriented than non-users. This group managed bigger farms, and they spent more time doing ofice work. Unwillingness to use computerised systems can be explained according to the farmer's computer technology alienation feelings (""knowledge gap""), incompatible information management skills, and poor economic benefit perceptions. The first two factors may reflect farmers' learning and problem solving styles being incompatible with computerised systems, which may originate from the interaction of basic personality traits and the educational and life process (family and community environment). Given certain learning and problem solving styles, farmers may form positive or negative economic benefit perceptions. The size of the farm, among other farm variables, clearly influences this perception through both the economies of scale of software use, and the scale of the management work. The lack of (computer) operational skills can delay sofiare adoption, but can be removed through training if the above factors support a positive attitude toward computerised system use. If feasible, actions promoting information technology change should focus on building farmer information management skills, and in making available knowledge relevant to developing positive economic benefit perceptions, assuming they exist. Advisors can play a significant role in this process. An additional strategy, particularly where non-users not considering the use of computerised systems represent important segments in the farming community, is the development of information management tools more compatible with these farmers' current information systems.

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