There is a critical need for a widely accessible, cradle-to-grave, software package that can integrate and utilize information from multiple distributed databases, and make use of existing agricultural models. Dr. Rodney Holcomb, Professor of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University (OSU), collaborated with Dr. Michael Buser, Program Leader for Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Sciences at USDA-ARS, Maryland, and Dr. Bill Carter, State Director, OK Small Business Development Center to develop a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform using OSU’s Geospatial Logistics and Agricultural Decision Integration System (GLADIS), which can generate economic decision information based on user inputs and database information.
Researchers developed the SaaS system to integrate existing databases into a relational management system and utilize available agricultural models to produce a holistic software for switchgrass bioenergy logistics modeling.
The research team compiled information, economics models, and supply chain relationships needed for robust evaluation of switchgrass bioenergy industry. “We gathered data needed for agricultural, sustainability, financial, and stochastic models relevant to system performance”, Holcomb said. “Using this information, we developed an integrated modeling framework for holistic data analysis based on stakeholder input that links current feedstock growth, financial, sustainability, and environmental models in a publicly-available online software program”, Holcomb added.
“The modeling framework provides opportunities for stakeholders to either use these models or modify these models to fit their needs. This software will help stakeholders estimate costs and profits, identify potential risks, and better understand how to optimize their specific supply chain system”, Holcomb said.
Construction of the online modeling software is underway. Funding of this project was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) through the South Central Sun Grant Program.