Kilpatrick, S, Farmer learning in benchmarking for environmental sustainability, Benchmarking in Food and Farming, Gower Publishing Limited, L Jack (ed), Farnham, England, pp. 89-96. ISBN 978-0-566-08835-3 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]
Copyright 2009 Gower Publishing Limited
Official URL: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780566088353
Natural resource management (NRM) is a complex area. There is an imperfect scientific understanding of natural systems and how best to manage them. Furthermore, many players (including land owners and various government agencies) have overlapping responsibility for managing our natural resources.
The project described here worked with four groups of farmers in northern Tasmania, Australia over a period of between one and two years per group. Two project officers acted as facilitators, providing general agricultural knowledge input and identifying relevant specialists, experts and alternative management practices. The project funded the services of experts, as required. The project officers co-ordinated the activities of the group, initially intensively to assist group development, but with the aim of becoming less involved as the groups matured.
Each group first decided the environmental or NRM issue or problem they were going to monitor and benchmark. The process for developing and implementing best practice management in each group followed a similar direction but with different timescales for each step. The project officers guided the groups, drawing on a formal process for achieving continuous improvement and innovation that they developed. The NRM issues selected by the groups were nutrient run off and water quality (Group A), salinity (Groups B and C) and soil management for sustainable cropping (Groups B and D). Benchmarks were developed to monitor stream turbidity (Group A), salinity (Groups A and C), soil nutrient levels (Group A) and various attributes of soil health (Group B). Group D did not progress to develop any benchmarks.
|Item Type:||Research Book Chapter|
|Keywords:||benchmarking, sustainable agriculture|
|Research Division:||Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences|
|Research Group:||Agriculture, Land and Farm Management|
|Research Field:||Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness|
|Objective Group:||Land and Water Management|
|Objective Field:||Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management|
|Author:||Kilpatrick, S (Professor Sue Kilpatrick)|
|Deposited By:||Division of the DVC (Students and Education)|
|Downloads:||2 View Download Statistics|
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