Survey on Water and Technology Use

Ernie NeffTechnology, Water

survey

University of Florida (UF) researchers are conducting a survey to study smart agriculture technology acceptance and adoption behavior of Florida specialty crop growers, specifically growers of crops requiring regular irrigation. Adam Watson, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and doctoral candidate Raminder Kaur are requesting the information. The survey requests feedback on growers’ use of water and technology and their thoughts on water management practices.

Watson and Kaur are working on a U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored project. Information obtained from the survey will provide information the researchers can use to develop tools that benefit growers.  

The survey does not ask growers to identify themselves, and the results will be made available to only a small number of UF researchers. Growers who would like to know the results of the survey should include their email addresses in the space provided at the end of the survey.

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The survey can be accessed here. The deadline for taking it is Nov. 6.

The researchers are working on a SmartPath Decision Support Tool. The SmartPath (smart agricultural technology for the detection of pathogens) technology is an integration of a decision support tool and sensor technology. Sensor systems measure the physical, chemical and biological parameters of water (type, water source, pH, dissolved oxygen, microbial load, nitrogen, etc.), and growers can conduct water-quality analysis in real time. Combined with grower input, this information is compared against a library which provides feedback based on quality parameters to decide if a given water source is safe for irrigation purposes.

SmartPath technology may encourage farmers to use alternative water sources over fresh water sources, helping to conserve water resources and comply with Food Safety Modernization Act requirements without the need of having to go to the lab to have their water samples tested. The UF researchers hope to develop SmartPath software that will have an innovative, easy-to-use interface that allows growers to explore a variety of relevant options (sensors, treatment technology, etc.) relating to the use of alternative water sources for irrigation.

The goal of this research is to identify and assess factors that affect users’ acceptance and adoption of the decision support tool. A prototype of the decision support tool will be modified and refined based on feedback from the grower survey. After that, management intervention strategies will be proposed to increase the efficient and effective use of the tool.

Source: University of Florida

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