Much of the recent and current agricultural productivity research is concerned with the sustainability of cropping systems. Paddock level gross margin (ie financial) analysis is usually used to get the message across to farmers about the profitability of different crop rotations, but a system with a high gross margin may also have high costs. This can have implications at the farm level in terms of seasonal borrowing requirements, machinery (and therefore capital ) and labour requirements. This paper takes gross margin analysis a step further and applies dominance analysis principles to gauge the returns per dollar invested. The paper concludes by outlining further work needed to conduct more complete economic analyses of sustainable cropping systems.


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