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Realised value of RD&E in the Australian sugar industry: Economic benefits of the changing farming system

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Schroeder, B.L., Cameron, T., Linedale, A.I. and Allsopp, P.G. (2009) Realised value of RD&E in the Australian sugar industry: Economic benefits of the changing farming system. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technology, 31 . pp. 221-229. ISSN 0726-0822



Research, development and extension (RD&E) are generally accepted as activities that add value to primary industries through productivity gains and/or decreased input costs. Although RD&E relating to farming systems activities has been ongoing for many years, it has been difficult to quantify the realised value of this effort as both productivity and profitability need to be considered. The Farm Economic Analysis Tool (FEAT) was used to evaluate the economics of changes to the sugarcane farming system for a 'hypothetical farm' in the Bundaberg district over three periods during the past 50 years: 1960 to 1970 (traditional farming system), 1980 to 1990 (past farming system), 2000 onward (improved farming system). This 'farm' was used to evaluate the different 'farming systems' that were generally practiced in the area during the three periods. As described in the FEAT analysis, the farming system has changed markedly over the past 40 to 50 years. Better sugarcane varieties coupled with the improved farming system is enabling viable and sustainable sugarcane farming businesses, which would not have been the case if the traditional approach was still being used. We suggest that RD&E has contributed significantly to this change. This has driven the overall sustainability and viability of sugarcane growing enterprises, and consequently that of the entire value chain.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education > Research. Experimentation
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education > Agricultural extension work
Plant culture > Field crops > Sugar plants
Live Archive:20 Feb 2024 23:21
Last Modified:20 Feb 2024 23:21

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