Work economics calculation data form the basis for comprehensive work planning on the farm and for calculating labour costs and work productivity, as well as for estimating workload. A work budget (WB) is a planning tool for creating a time budget for the work to be done. The working-time requirement for labour and production processes is calculated with the help of the work budget. Work budgets need to be constantly refined and adapted to modern technologies.
The inclusion of dynamic models for work processes in the ART Work Budget (ART-WB) has created a comprehensive calculation tool that allows the working-time requirement of a farm to be modelled with great precision. However, usage of the tool has shown it to be too complex and user unfriendly for an advisory tool, and in particular for a planning tool for the farm manager.
Based on this experience, a new version – the Tänikon Work Budget (TWB) – was developed as an online tool (www.arbeitsvoranschlag.ch). The aim was to clearly improve the user friendliness, particularly the comprehensibility and the speed of the calculation process.
The present study focuses on the comparison of the new TWB with the ART-WB in terms of plausibility of results and user performance. In order to categorise the results of the TWB, the working-time requirement for selected work processes was calculated for a model farm with dairy farming in both ART-WB and TWB and the results compared with one another. In addition, the TWB was used to calculate the working-time requirement for three reference dairy farms. Finally, the farm manager gave an assessment of the results, and of the handling of the calculation tool.
The comparison of the working-time requirement for different work processes calculated with the ART-WB on the one hand and the TWB on the other hand showed that the deviation between the results varied considerably. Further optimisations should be carried out in order to improve the user-friendliness and the quality of the results of the TWB.