CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Animal Production Science   
Animal Production Science
Journal Banner
  Food, Fibre and Pharmaceuticals from Animals
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
Awards and Prizes
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 49(10)

Seeking simultaneous improvements in farm profit and natural resource indicators: a modelling analysis

Michael Robertson A D, Andrew Bathgate B, Andrew Moore C, Roger Lawes A, Julianne Lilley C

A CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, PMB 5, PO Wembley, WA 6913, Australia.
B Farming Systems Analysis Service, 41 Trebor Road, Albany WA 6330, Australia.
C CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2061, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: michael.robertson@csiro.au
PDF (273 KB) $25
 Export Citation


Natural resource indicators are used by catchment management organisations as targets for land use management. However, the nature of the trade-off function between natural resource management (NRM) outcomes and whole-farm profit is ill-defined, and varies between regions and according to the particular NRM indicator considered. Defining this function will assist catchment management organisations and farmers to evaluate the achievability of particular targets, and help determine the size of economic incentives required to offset any expected loss in farm profit associated with meeting targets. We addressed this issue by modelling representative farm businesses in two mixed farming regions (southern New South Wales and the central wheatbelt of Western Australia). The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) and GRAZPLAN farming systems models were linked and used to generate values of four NRM indicators (water leakage, nitrate leaching, groundcover and soil organic carbon change) for a wide range of crop–pasture rotations. The NRM indicator values were then incorporated into the Model of an Integrated Dryland System (MIDAS) whole-farm economic model to define the relationship with farm profit and farm cropping percentage. For some circumstances and indicators, the resulting trade-off functions were relatively flat; a wide range of enterprise mixes can lead to the same NRM outcomes but significant gains in the indicators may not be possible using current rotation options. For others, significant improvements could be achieved but at a substantial loss in whole-farm profit (through the selection of less profitable rotations). There were also examples where simultaneous gains in indicators and farm profit were possible. This analysis demonstrates an approach by which biophysical simulation models of the farming system can be linked to linear-programming representations of farming enterprises, and provides a method for deriving relationships between NRM targets and economic performance.

Keywords: APSIM, GRAZPLAN, groundcover leakage, nitrate leaching, profit, soil organic carbon.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016