Professor Julie Cotter.
Professor Julie Cotter.

The Institute for Agriculture and the Environment research team includes Dr Geoff Slaughter, pictured above, and Professor Julie Cotter.

A UNIVERSITY of Southern Queensland (USQ) research team has secured Federal Government funding to examine what makes a farm business successful.

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) funding will go towards the Understanding Australian Farm Business Performance project within USQ’s Institute for Agriculture and the Environment.

Project leader Associate Professor Geoff Slaughter said his team will develop a concise understanding of relative farm performance and the achievement of business best practice within a range of agricultural industries.

“We’ll look at the operation of a business to understand what distinguishes excellence in business practices,” he said.

“It’s anticipated the resulting research will lead to the development of a robust framework for business performance by characterising the strategies and tactics that enhance performance.

“Our goal is to improve the viability of the farm business sector.”

The project will seek to engage the top 25 per cent of producers as participants in the research.

“In focusing on these high achievers, the project team will significantly increase the likelihood of identifying the business drivers required for excellence in farm industries,” Associate Professor Slaughter said.

The research will focus on the key farming practices and management techniques in intensive and extensive industries including: animal; cropping; mixed animal-cropping and horticulture.

Associate Professor Slaughter said understanding performance was a key issue in a profitable rural sector.

Professor Steven Raine, Executive Director of the Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, welcomed the funding.

“This is an exciting project with the University bringing together the major agricultural sectors to deliver profitable agribusinesses for the future,” he said.

31/3/2014