eCite Digital Repository

Farmer learning in benchmarking for environmental sustainability


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 Statement

Copyright 2009 Gower Publishing Limited

Official URL:


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 Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:benchmarking, sustainable agriculture
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Farm management, rural management and agribusiness
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use
UTAS Author:Kilpatrick, S (Professor Sue Kilpatrick)
ID Code:83434
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Academic Division
Deposited On:2013-03-13
Last Modified:2014-08-20
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page