IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Dairy Directions: a decade of whole farm analysis of dairy systems

Listed author(s):
  • Malcolm, Bill
  • Ho, Christie K.M.
  • Armstrong, Dan P.
  • Doyle, Peter T.
  • Tarrant, Katherine A.
  • Heard, J.W.
  • Leddin, C.M.
  • Wales, W.J.
Registered author(s):

    Making farm decisions is difficult, especially making decisions about selling and pricing wheat in deregulated supply chains. This study, conducted prior to export deregulation, sought to identify which factors were important to northern New South Wales (NSW) wheat growers when they were making decisions about wheat selling and price risk, under production and market uncertainty. Key questions were about how they make these decisions and the implications, particularly for larger-sized farmers, merchants, end-users, bankers, advisors and trainers. The research aim was to test the behaviour of users and non-users of five selling methods and six pricing-hedging strategies against eighteen management and seventeen risk attitude-adoption questions. The findings from this research will assist understanding of farmer decision-making. Information about growers’ decision processes on wheat selling and pricing will be helpful to supply chain intermediaries and service personnel in improving the targeting and alignment of growers. More research is required on the cross-usage of different selling-pricing methods, the interdependence between discretionary costs of production and selling-pricing decisions, how speculative storage compares with on-farm rental storage of pre-sold product that integrates the farmer with the supply chain, and how speculative storage affects cash flow and debt repayment. Volume 20, Paper 2, (pp. 11-38) The Aggregate Economic Benefits to the Australian Beef Industry from the Adoption of Meat Standards Australia: updated to 2010/11 + Garry Griffith and John Thompson Meat and Livestock Australia and the Cooperative Research Centre for Cattle and Meat Quality funded a major R&D program in the mid 1990s to investigate the relationships between observable beef and cattle characteristics, cooking methods and consumer appreciation of beef palatability. Out of this R&D program grew the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) voluntary meat grading system which was aimed primarily at providing an accurate prediction of beef eating quality for the domestic market. The MSA system commenced operations in 1999/2000. The gross benefits associated with using the MSA system were quantified by using data on the number of carcases graded and certified, a survey of retailers and wholesalers based on prices for MSA graded beef (3 star or better) versus ungraded beef, and market reports of prices paid for MSA quality cattle versus non-MSA quality cattle. Over the period 2004/05 to 2010/11, beef consumers across Australia were prepared to pay on average $0.30/kg extra for MSA branded beef on a carcass weight equivalent basis to guarantee tenderness. This beef is primarily sold through independent butcher shops, although one of the major supermarket chains has now started selling MSA branded beef. The retailers kept about $0.06/kg and paid their wholesale suppliers the remaining $0.24/kg to source MSA compliant cattle and MSA graded carcasses. About $0.13/kg was passed back to cattle producers on average. The cumulative retail-level economic benefit of the MSA system to 2010/11 is estimated to be around $523 million, with a current annual benefit of around $77 million over the past three years. After accounting for all the costs of development and implementation, net benefits are at least $200 million. Volume 20, Paper 2 (pp.39-58) Dairy Directions: A decade of whole farm analysis of dairy systems B. Malcolm, C.K.M. Ho, D.P. Armstrong, P.T. Doyle, K.A. Tarrant, J.W. Heard, C.M. Leddin, W.J. Wales Dairy farm systems are complex and diverse. A decade ago, a dairy research and development project, Dairy Directions, was developed. In this program, the whole farm approach of farm management economics was used to investigate questions about options dairy farmers had to maintain and improve profitability, to achieve their goals. Commencing in one region of Victoria, with an initial focus on farm decisions, the scope of the work evolved to identifying gaps in scientific knowledge, contributing information to public policy formation, and expanded to other regions. A steering committee of farmers, related industry representatives, scientists and farm economists proved the key to success in this research process. In this paper, the whole farm economics approach to farm systems research is described and explained; in particular the role of using information about response functions, risk, time and case studies in answering questions about alternative farm futures. The application and results of the whole farm approach to a range of research questions about dairy farming in Victoria is presented. As well as confirming the known, findings have also identified unrecognized dimensions, and challenged theory.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment in its journal Australasian Agribusiness Review.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2012)
    Issue (Month): ()

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:ags:auagre:125940
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Ho, Christie K.M. & Nesseler, R. & Doyle, Peter T. & Malcolm, Bill, 2005. "Future dairy farming systems in irrigation regions," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 2(1).
    2. Malcolm, Bill, 2004. "Farm Management analysis: a core discipline, simple sums, sophisticated thinking," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 1.
    3. Armstrong, Dan P. & Ho, Christie K.M. & Doyle, Peter T. & Malcolm, Bill & Gibb, I. & Brown, Stuart, 2005. "Analysing drought impacts and recovery options by adapting a dairy farming systems modelling approach," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 2(1).
    4. Cocks, K.D., 1964. "Creep Budgeting," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 32(03), September.
    5. Dillon, John L., 1976. "The economics of systems research," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 5-22, January.
    6. Ho, Christie K.M. & Malcolm, Bill & Armstrong, Dan P. & Doyle, Peter T., 2006. "A case study of changes in economic performance of an irrigated dairy farm in northern Victoria," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 3(1).
    7. Melsen, Monique G. & Armstrong, Dan P. & Ho, Christie K.M. & Malcolm, Bill & Doyle, Peter T., 2006. "Case-study forty-year historical analysis of production and resource use on northern Victoria dairy farming," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 3(1).
    8. Ho, Christie K.M. & Armstrong, Dan P. & Doyle, Peter T. & Malcolm, Bill, 2005. "Impacts of changing water price and availability on irrigated dairy farms in northern Victoria," AFBM Journal, Australasian Farm Business Management Network, vol. 2(2).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:auagre:125940. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.