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A number of farming systems projects are currently being conducted in the north eastern cropping region of Australia. These are jointly funded by the grains industry and state government R&D agencies, and conducted by the latter with some involvement of private industry. The issues which were the genesis of these projects are basically technological (ie productivity-enhancement) to maintain or improve farm income over time, and environmental to redress natural resource degradation associated with the current system. This paper is concerned with the analysis of results from these projects to provide information which helps grain growers in making decisions. In particular, we aim to consider the issues to be analysed and the characteristics of the systems involved in deciding the type of economic analysis to be conducted for these projects. Characteristics of farm production systems in the region include complexity, variability and dynamics, particularly in terms of tactical decision making. The most appropriate methods of analysis need to be carefully considered, but there is a rich history of experience to draw from in these choices.


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