11.5Farm Management in the 21st Century

Mullen, J.D. (2002) Farm Management in the 21st Century, Invited paper presented at the 46th Annual Conference of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, Canberra February, 2002. NSW Agriculture, Head Office, 161 Kite Street, Orange, NSW 2800

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A key element of an agenda for farm management in the 21st Century should be productivity on farms. The gains from productivity since 1953 have been enough to offset declines in the real price of farm outputs at least in the broadacre sector. Productivity gains will remain important to the sector in this century. For public institutions, the focus of research and extension activities will continue to switch to the management of natural resources. Farmers and policy makers will need to know the on-farm impacts of technologies and policies that will effect resource stocks over many years. A challenge to farm management professionals will be how to present this information, derived from sophisticated modelling, to farmers and policy makers. My guess is that Malcolm’s ‘few figurings’ of a ‘few futures’ is the way to go.