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The agricultural sector constitutes one of the most important sources of income and production worldwide; its activities are directly related to issues such as water availability, soil conservation, pests and diseases. Therefore, it is important to have adequate control of environmental parameters and make efficient use of the resources through the implementation of constant monitoring systems. The environments of crops are highly dynamic; therefore systems that support the decision-taking process constitute a very valuable tool. We conducted the design and implementation of a decision-support system for monitoring crops using technologies such as wireless sensor networks. The prototype implemented includes tools that provide real-time information about the crop status, surrounding environment and potential risks such as pests and diseases. Moreover, we carried out an experimental evaluation based on the technology acceptance model (TAM) using the prototype with a group of potential users, as well as an evaluation of a predictive model for pests and diseases. This allowed us to gather their perception about usefulness, ease and intention of use, as well as the scope of the predictive model and its reliability. We believe that our proposal has the potential to reduce costs and using precise information, improve the management of resources for crop production.
Date of Conference: 8-10 Sept. 2010