The Impact of Operational Research on AgricultureE. D. SargentThe Journal of the Operational Research SocietyVol. 31, No. 6 (Jun., 1980), pp. 477-483DOI: 10.2307/2580821Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580821Page Count: 7
AbstractThe paper shows that agriculture is one of the United Kingdom’s largest industries. It would therefore be expected that O.R. could have made a significant contribution to decision making. But achievements in practice have been disappointingly small. The industry comprises of a large number of small individual businesses which do not permit specialisation in management functions. Consequently, technical advice and much R and D is provided from public funds. O.R. applications for agriculture have mainly been developed by Universities, Colleges, State Advisory Services and QUANGOS. The paper discusses some techniques used in agriculture-linear programming, dynamic programming and simulation-and outlines some problems encountered with these. Other techniques have had limited uptake and application. Reasons for the disappointing impact of O.R. are discussed as a set of problems-those specific to farmers and their systems; those specific to computer use; problems in recruiting and training O.R. specialists and problems in communication.
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