Farms of the future


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Rick Llewellyn speaking at the Mannum Community Science Forum

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Farms of the future

  1. 1. South Australian Murray Darling Basin NRM Board Ranges to River NRM - Community Science Forum   Farming Sustainability & Technologies  
  2. 2. Farms of the future Rick Llewellyn CSIRO
  3. 3. B. Jones
  4. 4. Future farming: <ul><li>“ Farming in the Mallee is going to be very profitable sometimes, middling profitable in some years and, at times, not profitable at all - as has always been the case”. </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Malcolm, University of Melbourne </li></ul>
  5. 5. Farms of the future <ul><li>Scale and efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Management and expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Specialisation </li></ul><ul><li>Convenience agriculture </li></ul>
  6. 6. What can the past tell us <ul><li>1880’s - The search for wheat land (Goyder) </li></ul><ul><li>1906 – The railway </li></ul><ul><li>1910’s – The influx of wheat farmers </li></ul><ul><li>1910-2010 - A decade of farmer innovation, science, technology, globalisation, new markets </li></ul>Stump jump plough, phosphate All about wheat Sthn Mallee DC
  7. 7. The result in 2011? <ul><li>EVEN MORE WHEAT </li></ul>Wheat and barley account for 90 per cent of grain crops produced in the Mallee agro-ecological zone (SA-Vic) $562M p.a. ABARE 2011
  8. 8. Proportion of Mallee farm area sown to crop ABARE, 2011 Nitrogen fertiliser Herbicides Disease resistant cereal varieties No-tillage
  9. 9. Future: Greater cropping intensity ABARE, 2010 The future? More cropping intensity than now in Mallee SA Mallee SA Mallee 57% land cropped; Vic Mallee 72% (CSIRO)
  10. 10. Future: Bigger farms on average and less farmers ABARE, 2011 Are many farms approaching the optimal size for a typical family farm management unit?
  11. 11. Greater land use intensity in the Mallee ABARE, 2011
  12. 12. New technologies; more intensity; new constraints <ul><li>New varieties </li></ul><ul><li>New break crop options </li></ul><ul><li>New disease tolerances and treatments </li></ul><ul><li>Improved nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>New livestock markets </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for even more intensity and profitability </li></ul>MANAGEMENT CAPACITY AS THE GROWING CONSTRAINT
  13. 13. <ul><li>Less managers per hectare ; More management needed per hectare </li></ul><ul><li>More management demands </li></ul><ul><li>More available information </li></ul><ul><li>Less available labour </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Attention’ is a scarce and valuable resource </li></ul>The key issue for future farming:
  14. 14. What does this mean for future farms? <ul><li>Greater use of consultants and specialist advisors </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very low current use in SA Mallee (23%) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Supply Vs demand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>More highly specialized farms or specialization within mixed farms </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on what your are best at e.g. cropping </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But need to avoid excessive risk exposure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Greater need for off-farm time </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Time away from increasingly intense on-farm management demands </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Time away from sparsely populated farming districts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Off-farm work and education needs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased farm management capacity </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training and education – approx 20% have more than high school education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use of tools and technology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Greater use of Information Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remote diagnostics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remote monitoring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Networks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Labour-efficient innovations </li></ul>
  15. 15. Overcoming labour constraints New in-cab PA systems – Access Managers with operator lock-out Sheep without shearing Autosteer and beyond?
  16. 16. Zonal grazing without fencing ??
  17. 17. Increasing recognition of the value of convenience and embodied technologies
  18. 18. Increasing use of new farm business structures <ul><li>Vision: </li></ul><ul><li>Developing and growing efficient farming </li></ul><ul><li>Developing innovative family farming </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing the economic strength of corporate business to Australia's family farms, while sustaining the social fabric of rural communities.  </li></ul>Introducing specialist skills and practices Overcoming capital constraints Economies of scale for applying new technology Facilitating on-farm specialization
  19. 19.           The future of Mixed-Farming Agriculture A livestock management service for time pressured farmers