Analysing drought impacts and recovery options by adapting a dairy farming systems modelling approach

The dairy industry in northern Victoria faced dramatic changes between 2001/02 and 2002/03. Drought resulted in a substantial decrease in availability, and subsequent increase in price, of irrigation water and supplementary feed. Most farms recorded substantial net cash flow deficits. Prior to 2002/03, a project had been established using case studies and a spreadsheet model to examine potential futures for different farm types. This approach was successfully adapted to examine drought impacts and recovery options under the vastly different prevailing circumstances. Several factors appear to have contributed to the adaptability of the approach, as follows: • The approach considered many aspects of farm management systems, but was simple enough to allow adaptation. • The project team and steering committee had developed a good understanding of the relationships between components of farming systems, enabling rapid adaptation of their mental frameworks. • The approach focussed more on helping people question, discuss and learn, rather than providing an absolute answer.

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Publication Type:
Journal Article
DOI and Other Identifiers:
1449-5937 (Other)
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Published in:
AFBM Journal, Volume 02, Number 1
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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