This report investigates the wide variety of ways that producers (farmers and fishers) have coped with constraints. These constraints include industry restructure, market pressures and environmental restrictions. How environmental limits have been navigated, and even utilised, is a major focus of the report since this is a current issue for New Zealand (NZ) farmers.
Changing economic and social pressures in the rural sector mean farmers need to change the way they act and react to challenges if they want to survive and thrive. Strengthening rural leadership has been identified as a key opportunity to help famers to respond and adapt to their changing environment both on-farm and within their wider sector. From the findings of my research, self-awareness and self-reflection are two recognised traits that show strongly in farmers who are performing well in leadership positions.
The research in this report was gathered in order to determine how mobile technology can deliver improved on-farm and industry productivity gains now and in the future and also to understand technology adoption and how mobile could deliver positive outcomes. The scope was limited specifically to New Zealand sheep and beef farming and focused on opportunities that can give a genuine return on investment.
This study has come about because of a genuine belief that New Zealand is the greatest country to live in on earth. We are however regressing in some critical ways. The author believes we can stop the regression and build a robust and resilient economy without significant environmental loss. People are realising more and more the interconnectivity of all things on earth, human health with environmental health, our actions on environmental health and at the same time becoming globally connected within an instant by modern media.
New Zealand potato growers produce on average 50tonne/hectare in the current farming system which on a global level within the potato industry is within the top spectrum. (www.fao.org) For New Zealand to move up the ladder and raise the bar in terms of production, further investment into technology and advanced farming systems not commonly used in New Zealand to date is required.
NZ dairy farmers are directly exposed to uncertainty and fluctuations in commodity pricing. Over the past ten years external factors have had a significant impact on dairy farming businesses, leading to increased financial pressure, delayed investment plans and solvency issues. New Zealand (NZ) dairy farmers have been left behind. Sophisticated and diverse price risk management (PRM) tools are available to our competitor farmers in the USA and Europe. This will impact NZ’s industries competitive advantage on the global market in the years to come.
New Zealand has very high rates of entrepreneurial activity by international standards, but this has not translated into the expected numbers of large and high growth businesses. The result is significant loss of opportunities for growth. This phenomenon has been attributed to cultural influences (primarily lack of aspiration) and a possible lack of finance at a transitional stage in business development. Agriculture is not immune to this problem, as it is not performing to its potential in a number of areas.
New Zealand pioneered the export of frozen sheep meat in 1882 and continues to be a world leader in many aspects of sheep breeding, meat and wool production and product development for both domestic and international markets. However we have never had a significant sheep milk industry and the question is why – or more importantly, why not?
The pace of technological development is vast, and exponentially increasing. Research suggests that this will also have an ever increasing impact on agriculture, with the deployment of drones and sensors as just the beginning.
Lesley Innes, Knowledge Transfer Facilitator from Reaseheath in the UK which is a leading land-based specialist College, talks about her expertise in this space.
Why is knowledge transfer important?
• Improve on farm efficiencies
• Improve learning for students as well as farmers
• Different learning transfer setups exist, what is fitting, how to make content relevant?
Why are social tools important?
• The future is happening now
• Development of social tools in farming is driven by farm service organisations
• Technology allows integration
Why is this research important?
• Farmers are our most important resource, but little is formally known about how they manage their pastoral farms.
• Large gains in productivity could be made if the management of “expert” farmers could be captured and passed on to less expert farmers, e.g. a role for Decision Support System (DSS) Tools & Apps.
• Research into decision making is also critical for understanding the adoption and non-adoption of technologies, e.g. the use of feed and financial budgets.
Prof Nicola Shadbolt presents research on Resilience, Risk and Entrepreneurship
Prof Nicola Shadbolt presents research on Resilience, to 'Bounce without Breaking' in New Zealand Dairy Farm Businesses.
A Whole Farm Modelling Approach to Evaluate the Economic Viability of a Dairy Farm in a Sensitve Catchment
Trevor Sulzberger presents A whole farm modelling approach to evaluate the economic viability of a dairy farm in a sensitive catchment.
Federico Duranovich presents his research on Resilience Attributes of New Zealand Dairy Farmers.
Michelle Hunt's thesis evaluates a farm business governance course run by DairyNZ. The presentation focuses on the theories in the corporate governance field and provides some developments of these theories.
An earlier version of this presentation, was presented at the Dairy Research Foundation Symposium in Australia.
Alice Sterrit's thesis reports on the governance requirements for New Zealand diary farming enterprises.