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Land and Environment : Agribusiness Assoc. of Australia

Australasian Agribusiness Review - Vol. 15 - 2007

ISSN 1442-6951

Vol 15 - Paper 1 (pp.1-13)

J.M. Pluske and A.C. Schlink

Abstract Using a bio-economic model, H2OBeef, that includes traditionally considered parameters associated with running a beef feedlot but also incorporates aspects associated with water, changes that can alter water consumption and or price are examined. The results indicate that when water does not incur a cost, the net benefits of the feedlot used as the example in this paper, are in excess of one million dollars (Australian) over a 20 year period. However, with the inclusion of reasonable water costs ($1.20 to around $1.90/kL) and/or slight changes in water use within the feedlot, due to temperature changes from Greenhouse effects, the net benefits can fall to zero. Although water makes up a relatively small proportion of the total feedlot cost, if changes to water demand, supply and/or policy drive up price, then water can play a significant part in determining the economic viability of a feedlot.

Vol 15 - Paper 2 (pp.14-26)

Explaining adoption of durum wheat in Western Australia

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V. H. Nguyen A, R. S. Llewellyn AB and M. S. Miyan C

Abstract Data from a survey of Western Australian grain growers are used to characterise the use and perceptions of durum wheat. The main objective was to identify opportunities for extension to increase the level of durum wheat adoption throughout the grain growing regions of WA. Perceptions of durum wheat characteristics were elicited along with other variables used to model the economic value of durum wheat in the local cropping system. Logistic regression analysis found that perceptions of the yield potential were most influential, with almost half of respondents believing current durum wheat varieties were unsuitable for Western Australian conditions. Perceptions of durum rust resistance were also significant in the adoption decision. Informational variables were shown to be of influence; however, critically, past use was not a significant predictor of future use. Before broad extension and promotion of the trialing of durum can be successful, efforts in Western Australia will need to focus on research to ensure that early adopters of durum wheat can generate positive messages relating to yield and profitability.

Vol 15 - Paper 3 (pp.27-45)

Evolving Patterns of Agricultural Trade between Australia and China

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Zhang-Yue Zhou, Yan-Rui Wu and Wei Si

Abstract Agricultural trade between Australia and China has increased significantly in recent years and the momentum is likely to continue. However, concerns exist in both countries over the likely negative impacts of the increased agricultural trade on their domestic industries. This paper examines agricultural trade patterns between Australian and China and addresses the question as to whether agricultural trade between them is competitive or complementary. Our study shows that agricultural trade between the two countries is set to further increase and there is a high level of agricultural trade complementarity between the two countries. Increased agricultural trade is unlikely to generate much negative impacts on their agricultural sectors as a whole, although producers in some industries may be adversely affected to some extent. In general, both countries will benefit from the expansion of agricultural trade between them.

Vol 15 - Paper 4 (pp.46-61)

An Economic Evaluation of the Ricecheck Extension Program in NSW

Rajinder P Singh, John P Brennan and John Lacy

Abstract Ricecheck, an extension program for rice developed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, is based on eight best management practice recommendations (“key checks”) considered essential for achieving high yields. The program comprises grower meetings, monitoring crops, keeping crop production records and field days. The Ricecheck recommendations provide information on the impact of the best management practices on crop yields and farm profitability. In this paper, the economic benefits from Ricecheck to the rice farmers are measured. An economic evaluation indicates that there has been a high economic return on the funds invested in developing and adopting Ricecheck.

Vol 15 - Paper 5 (pp.62-74)

The Benefits of Mangement Changes in Beef Enterprises on Pastoral Stations in Western Australia

P.R. Tozer

Aset of simulations were used to estimate the impact of improvements in cattle breeding efficiency and other management factors on gross margins in extensive pastoral systems in Western Australia.  The simulations showed that gross margin was an increasing function of breeding rates, but age at first breeding and age at sale of offspring had variable effects on the gross margin of the enterprise.  The statistical model illustrated that for a one per cent increase in branding rates, an increase in gross income of $5274 or $2 per adult equivalent was possible.  The optimal ages at first breeding and sale of offspring were 20.6 months and 10.8 months respectively.  Information generated by the simulation and the statistical model allows management to identify the breakeven value, or limit, of expenditure on changes to the system. 

Vol 15 - Paper 6 (pp.75-93)

Rationalising Risk Assessment: Applications to Agricultural Business

J. Brian Hardaker and Gudbrand Lien

To concentrate on treating the most serious risks, methods of business risk management usually seek to identify the main risks and to assess their relative importance. Risks are typically assessed in terms of their chances of occurrence and the severity of their consequences. The assessments may be performed by qualitative, semi-quantitative or quantitative analysis. This paper is focussed on quantitative methods, requiring assessments of specific probabilities and values for consequences.

Vol 15 - Paper 7 (pp.94-107)

An Approach to Predicting Demand for an Agricultural Innovation

Geoff Kaine, Jim Lees and Vic Wright

Historically research about diffusion has largely been focused on rates of adoption and explanations for them.  This is a matter of secondary importance, arguably, to the question of the likely total level of adoption.  In the case of agricultural innovations total adoption can be expected to be strongly correlated to the value attributed to the innovation by those producers for whom it is relevant.

In this paper a model is presented which frames the components of the farm management context that substantially determine the valuation of innovations.  This model has been developed over two decades of research into potential adoption.

Vol 15 - Paper 8 (pp.108-119)

A hedonic Model of Lamb Carcass Attrributes

Terence Farrell and David Hopkins

Lamb carcass value is widely reported to be a function of lean meat yield, which is the relationship between muscle, fat and bone.  Five retailers and five wholesalers assessed 47 lamb carcasses from diverse genotypes and scored seven attributes.  A hedonic model reveals that conformation attributes were more highly valued (16 c/kg) relative to yield characteristics (4 c/kg).  Meat colour and fat distribution were significant for retailers, but less important for wholesalers.  Genotype was not a strong indicator of conformation.  Eye muscle area and depth were correlated with Fat C; however, these were not significant. These results indicate that carcass conformation, meat colour and fat distribution should be incorporated into carcass grading models. 

Vol 15 - Paper 9 (pp.120-133)

Productivity in the New Zealand Primary and Downstream Sectors

Kay Cao and Rod Forbes

In this paper, we report our results in measuring total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the New Zealand primary and downstream manufacturing sectors. Our results showed strong TFP growth in the agriculture sector during 1988-2006 (2.7 percent per year). Forestry and logging’s TFP grew at a lower rate (1.5 percent) which is similar to that of the economy average. Both downstream manufacturing sectors’ TFP grew at lower rates than the primary sectors and the economy average (being 1.1 and -0.1 percent respectively). 


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