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A simple model of the cereal harvest operation was constructed for the Wimmera region of Victoria. The model was used to investigate factors influential in determining the harvesting costs of a machinery system over a period of years. An evaluation of alternative machinery systems was also conducted using the model. The superiority of systems simulation over static analysis was demonstrated by using the model to incorporate stochastic variables and to handle the dynamic nature of the harvest operation. In addition, the model output was shown to provide more information for decision makers than had resulted from previous Australian studies. It was concluded that systems simulation is an appropriate technique for investigating farm management machinery selection problems.


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