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Abstract

A ‘broad brush’ picture of farming in the pastoral zone of NSW is presented in this report. The pastoral zone of NSW is characterised by wide variations in climatic conditions, soil type and vegetation species. Hence representative faming system analysis was conducted for three sub-regions - the Upper Darling, the Murray-Darling and Far West. The regions were defined and described in terms of their resources, climate and the nature of agriculture. The main enterprises that farmers choose between were described and whole farm budgets and statements of assets and liabilities for the representative farms were developed. The representative farm models were used to compare traditional Merino based sheep enterprises with alternative sheep enterprises where meat was an important source of income. We found that the farming systems that have evolved in these areas are well suited to their respective environments and that the economic incentives to switch to more meat focussed sheep enterprises were not strong.

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