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Abstract

Modelling of cropping or crop-pasture rotations to date has been based on a predetermined, restricted set of rotations as “activities” of a Linear Programming matrix. This approach limits the use of such models to evaluate new crop varieties and potential rotations. It also results in the necessity to build entirely new models for each agro-climatic region due to differences in crop and rotation choices that are available. This paper presents an alternative model that solves for the optimal rotation from all theoretically possible rotations. Each crop in the optimal solution is determined given the paddock history of the previous two years. The choice of options to maximise farm profit (or gross margin) depends mainly on the crop yields and prices. The expected yield of a crop may differ according to its paddock history. These yields can be determined by conducting group discussions with extension and research scientists. The same model can be calibrated to a different agro-climatic region, by replacing the crops and their prices, yields and inputs.

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