The scientific study of farm management and of the pattern of rural activities is destined to play an increasingly important role in the future development of Australian agriculture. Scope for expansion in primary production lies in two directions. First, in the improvement of farming techniques within the present boundaries of major agricultural development. This applies particularly to the main crop and livestock areas which experience comparatively high rainfalls. Second, in the development of new areas beyond the present margins of agriculture, by means of new techniques designed to improve natural conditions, such as irrigation works, the application of deficient minerals to soils, and other measures. It is evident that development along each of these lines can be most rational only if adequate account is taken of the many complex factors which influence farm management. Farm management and farm survey research seek to do this. The information gained by such research serves two main purposes, in that it assists both extension work and policy formation. From the viewpoint of extension, the most important use of farm management and farm survey research is to provide detailed information on which to base accurate advice on the economic aspects of various farm practices and methods of farm organization. Secondly, if agricultural policy, in respect of price levels, credit facilities, tenure, etc., is to be realistic, it must be based on adequate information as to farmers' problems and attitudes and the many factors affecting farm management and the level of output.


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