Understanding sheep/beef farm management using casual mapping: development and application of a two-stage approach

Author: Fairweather, John; Hunt, Lesley; Rosin, Chris; Campbell, Hugh; Lucock, David

Date: 2007

Publisher: Agriculture Research Group on Sustainability

Type: Report

Link to this item using this URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5268

University of Otago

Abstract

Causal mapping was used to document how the participating sheep/beef farmers described and explained the factors involved in their farming systems, broadly defined to include economic, social and environmental factors. Participants identified which factors in the 41 provided were important to the management and performance of their farms and to link these on a map. The overall group map shows that at the core of the map are personal (farmer decision maker and satisfaction) and production factors surrounded by soil, environmental, climatic, family and cost factors. True to the family farm structure of much of New Zealand farming, the map shows the closely integrated role of family in the farming system. And the map is not insular since there are connections extending outwards including other people and related factors especially the marketing or processing organisation along with customers, advisors and sources of information. There is a strong production orientation in the map with some of the strongest connections from farmer decision maker to fertiliser and soil fertility health and to production. However, the environment is also important, reflected in farm environmental health and farm environment as a place to live. The sources of satisfaction (production, farmer decision maker, farm environment as a place to live and family needs) are quite varied and reflect the broad mix of factors at the core of the map.

Subjects: ARGOS project, New Zealand, sheep, beef, Agriculture

Citation: ["Fairweather, J., Hunt, L., Rosin, C., Campbell, H., & Lucock, D. (2007). Understanding sheep/beef farm management using casual mapping: development and application of a two-stage approach (ARGOS Research Report No. 07/02). Agriculture Research Group on Sustainability. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5268"]

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