Flexible Farming Systems

“Identifying investment opportunities in the sheep meat supply chain for flexible adaptation of Eastern Wheatbelt farm businesses”, has recently been completed. The team has come a long way in the last 3.5 years with many great outcomes for sheep producers in the eastern wheatbelt and some exciting opportunities coming our way once the project has finished.

Figure 1. Participants of the Middle East Study Tour 2019

Three core objectives of the project included:

  1. Building more resilient businesses with the capacity to adapt
  2. Creating new supply chain opportunities for eastern wheatbelt growers
  3. Improving return on investment for farm businesses

Major events and successes for the project have included:

  • Literature review on farmer decision making (local farmer surveys and farmer focus group discussions) and using this information to better build a decision-making support tool
  • Review of the sheep industry for the eastern wheatbelt
  • Markets Update 2016, grain and sheep
  • Sheep Industry Forum 2018
  • Harvest Accelerator Program 2018
  • Research Updates, MADFIG and FEAR 2017 – 2019
  • Grower study tour to Qatar, Jordan and UAE 2019
  • Individual farm business analyses
  • myFARMSMART®

myFARMSMART®
The development of myFARMSMART® was based on the outcomes of the project literature review and engagement with grower group members. myFARMSMART® has been developed by Agricultural Economist Lucy Anderton (LA.One Consulting) over the last two years through a consultative approach with growers, farm management consultants and researchers. myFARMSMART® is a whole-farm strategic and in-season tactical decision support tool. The underlying scientific principles in myFARMSMART® makes it different to its current competitors. The model calculates yields for crops and pastures for different seasonal conditions, decile 1 to 9, using the farms nearest historical rainfall and pasture growth data. It produces a comprehensive stock recon-ciliation which calculates the amount of supplementary feed required by sheep to meet the summer autumn feed gap. Farmers use their own data and change variables to demonstrate the impact that decision have on their financial situation in a five-year time frame. This includes, purchasing land, leasing land or purchasing new machinery or large-scale enterprise investment decisions such as sheep flock structure.

More information will be available in regards to the release of myFarmSmart soon.

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