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Organic wheat farming in Australia: issues farmers face


  • Birzer, Todd
  • Badgery, Warwick


Organic wheat farmers in Australia face a number of unique challenges, and an in-depth understanding of these challenges is an important first step for government agencies, universities and other groups interested in promoting organic agriculture. This research was designed to develop a qualitative understanding of the biggest transition, cultivation, market and other issues faced by organic wheat farmers in Australia. Data gathering was conducted with a series of one-to-one interviews. The top challenge identified was rain, water availability and soil moisture. This challenge places unique risks on organic farmers because of additional cultivation cycles and subsequent delayed seeding. A second key issue was weed management, with particularly tough issues found during the initial transition years. The third top issue was soil fertility, which together with weeds, was identified as a key factor limiting wheat yields. Top requests from organic wheat farmers were for more organic crop research centres, greater promotion and visibility for organic grain growing, and a small transition-to-organic subsidy.

Suggested Citation

  • Birzer, Todd & Badgery, Warwick, 2006. "Organic wheat farming in Australia: issues farmers face," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 3(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:afbmau:122516

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wood, Richard & Lenzen, Manfred & Dey, Christopher & Lundie, Sven, 2006. "A comparative study of some environmental impacts of conventional and organic farming in Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 324-348, September.
    2. Hanson, James C. & Dismukes, Robert & Chambers, William & Greene, Catherine R. & Kremen, Amy, 2003. "Risk And Risk Management In Organic Agriculture: View Of Organic Farmers," Working Papers 28551, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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