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Abstract

The transfer of agrotechnology has evolved along an evolutionary path that led from trial and error to statistical analysis and analog reasoning to systems-based methods. Conventional transfer procedures are described briefly, but the paper is focused on a systems approach made possible by recent advances in the development of computerized simulation models for crops, soils, weather and pests; expert systems; data management techniques; and the integration of these components into coherent conceptual structures called decision support systems. Such systems can be used for the strategic planning of agricultural research and development at the policy level and tactical decision making at the farm level. Agrotechnology transfer occurs through the knowledge and experience built into these "thought tools," which are beginning to revolutionize agriculture. The transfer process, after having been "pedocentric" and "genocentric," will thus become "infocentric." Telecommunication networks linking computers will be the conduit for exchange and transfer of agricultural information in the future.

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