The potential contribution of forage shrubs to economic returns and environmental management in Australian dryland agricultural systems
In face of climate change and other environmental challenges, inclusion of perennial forage shrubs in Australian agricultural systems has the potential to deliver multiple benefits: increased whole-farm profitability and improved natural resource management. The profitability of shrubs was investigated using MIDAS (Model of an Integrated Dryland Agricultural System), a bio-economic model of a mixed crop/livestock farming system. We found that including forage shrubs could increase farm profitability by over 20% for an optimal 10% of farm area in shrubs. The impact of shrubs on whole-farm profit accrues primarily through the provision of a predictable supply of “out-of-season” feed, thereby reducing supplementary feed costs, and through the deferment of grazing of pastures, allowing a higher stocking rate and improved animal production. The benefits for natural resource management include improved water use through summer-active, deep-rooted plants, reduced risk of soil erosion through year-round ground cover and/or wind breaks, reduced soil acidification, increased habitat for biodiversity, and effective carbon storage. Forage shrubs also allow for the productive use of marginal soils. Finally, we discuss other benefits of shrubs such as the effect on lambing and on livestock gut health. The principles revealed by the MIDAS modelling have wide application beyond the region.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.iaae-agecon.org/|
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- O'Connell, Michael & Young, John & Kingwell, Ross, 2006. "The economic value of saltland pastures in a mixed farming system in Western Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 371-389, September.
- Abadi Ghadim, Amir & Kingwell, Ross & Pannell, David, 1991. "An economic evaluation of deep tillage to reduce soil compaction on crop-livestock farms in Western Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-307.
- John, Michele & Pannell, David J. & Kingwell, Ross S., 2006.
"Climate Change and the Economics of Farm Management in the Face of Land Degradation: Dryland Salinity in Western Australia,"
2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia
25800, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Michele John & David Pannell & Ross Kingwell, 2005. "Climate Change and the Economics of Farm Management in the Face of Land Degradation: Dryland Salinity in Western Australia," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(4), pages 443-459, December.
- Pannell, David J., 1997.
"Sensitivity analysis of normative economic models: theoretical framework and practical strategies,"
Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 139-152, May.
- Pannell, David J., 1997. "Sensitivity analysis of normative economic models: theoretical framework and practical strategies," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 16(2), May.
- Pannell, David J., 1996. "Sensitivity Analysis of Normative Economic Models: Theoretical Framework and Practical Strategies," 1996 Conference (40th), February 11-16, 1996, Melbourne, Australia 156444, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
- Morrison, David A. & Kingwell, Ross S. & Pannell, David J. & Ewing, Michael A., 1986. "A mathematical programming model of a crop-livestock farm system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 243-268.
- World Bank, 2009. "Building Response Strategies to Climate Change in Agricultural Systems in Latin America," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12473, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:51537. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.