February 02, 2023

"BODIUM4Farmers" - First Co-Design Workshop in Halle

On January 20, the workshop "BODIUM4Farmers" took place at UFZ Halle.


Over the coming years, a special version of the BODIUM model will be developed at UFZ as a tool for farmers and agricultural consultants. This model tool will simulate and predict the influence of soil management and climate on yield and all other soil functions (water storage, nutrient availability, biological activity, carbon storage). The tool is intended to help farmers decide which management options are both ecologically and economically reasonable on their farm in the long term. In addition to the team of the BonaRes Centre, representatives of the Saxony-Anhalt State Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture, representatives of various consulting companies and two farmers participated.


The invited guests welcomed the initiative of the scientists to develop a decision support tool for practical agriculture and confirmed the potential of this project. At the same time, however, they pointed out numerous hurdles (e.g. data availability, time required for the farmer, etc.) that need to be overcome.


After the presentation of the current state of development of the model and its functioning, several thematic blocks followed in which the participants developed a vision of how a "BODIUM for farmers" should be designed. In addition to the question of which scenarios and management options should be simulated and the question of data availability, the technical implementation and possible concerns of future users regarding data protection were also discussed.


An essential conclusion of the workshop is that the use of the BODIUM application must be made as simple as possible in order to ensure a successful transfer into practice. For this purpose, suitable interfaces to already existing systems and data sources such as arable land registers or the databases of agricultural machinery manufacturers should be established.

In this context, the important role of agricultural consultants as users of the BODIUM became clear. The business evaluation of the results, which is important for farmers, can then also be carried out externally by consulting companies.


In order to advance the development of the "Farmers Version" of the model, further cooperation was agreed upon at the end of the workshop.