×B5. Innovative ways to model farm systems

Farmers make complex decisions daily about the management of their properties. Decisions are made on whole-of-farm crop rotations and livestock enterprises within the constraints of budget, social and personal pressures. On top of this they contend with soil variability, weather variability and a rapidly changing climate.

These are a complex mix of issues that requires consideration at the whole system level rather than at the level of individual paddocks. Traditionally, our models are point based and are limited to a few zones within a paddock or a few paddocks on a farm. This poses the question: Are our models up to the challenge of assisting farmers to manage their farm and of scientists to research the farm system?

We are seeking submissions that explore this question and present techniques that move beyond single paddock simulations. Of particular interest are whole farm methodologies (rangelands, dairy, broadacre cropping, livestock enterprises) that consider one or more of the issues outlined above.

Note that this session does not seek submissions that are descriptions of new models or applications of models at the paddock scale but rather applications that demonstrate (or postulate) technologies or methodologies that build systems capabilities.

Key topics: Whole farm, Farm, Agriculture