ValorE: An integrated and GIS-based decision support system for livestock manure management in the Lombardy region (northern Italy)

Maurizio Moschini, Marco Acutis, Lodovico Alfieri, Andrea Giussani, Giorgio Provolo, Andrea Di Guardo, Stefania Colombini, Gianpaolo Bertoncini, Marco Castelnuovo, Guido Sali, Mattia Sanna, Alessia Perego, Marco Carozzi, Marcello Ermido Chiodini, Mattia Fumagalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

tIntensive agriculture and livestock breeding represent critical factors in the Lombardy region since thenitrate vulnerable zones are 62% of utilised agricultural plain area. The aim of reducing the environmen-tal risk caused by agriculture activities (e.g. nitrogen losses into groundwater and atmosphere) can beonly achieved through a critical and scientific analysis of livestock manure management in a whole-farmperspective. Keeping in mind this objective, the decision support system (DSS) ValorE was developed. Itcan be described as a tool able to evaluate from the environmental, technical, agronomic and economicpoints of view the main components of manure management (production, storage, treatment and landapplication) for a variety of livestock types (i.e., cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats and horses), underdifferent scenarios adopted at farm and territorial scale. ValorE consists of three main components: datamanagement subsystem, model management subsystem and two versions of user-interface, both forfarm and territorial scale. Most of the inputs to the DSS comes from external databases, while a softwaretool developed in the .NET environment and implemented using object oriented programming (C# lan-guage), provides the logic to manage the scenario simulation of agronomic and environmental farm-scalemodels. Users and stakeholders can carry out comparative analysis, starting from the knowledge of thecurrent perspective, in terms of manure management system at farm or territorial scale by interrogatingthe available databases. Moreover, they can generate different alternative scenarios thanks to differentoptions for the manure handling and cropping system simulation. Then they can finally evaluate andcompare different scenarios through multidisciplinary and synthetic indicators but also visualise spatialeffects exploiting the coupled webGIS. ValorE is therefore an attempt to offer a comprehensive tool forimproving both farm strategy and decision making process, which is particularly important in a veryintensive agricultural area, with one of the highest livestock density in the world, as Lombardy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-162
Number of pages14
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume41
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Decision support system
  • gis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'ValorE: An integrated and GIS-based decision support system for livestock manure management in the Lombardy region (northern Italy)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this