Future dairy farm systems : a bio-economic analysis : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of AgriCommerce, School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The dairy industry is an important component of New Zealand economy particularly in terms
of foreign exchange earnings, local communities and employment, contributing around 3.5%
of NZ’s total GDP annually. The future of the dairy industry can be influenced by consumer
trends, the volatility of production, input and output prices, the environmental footprint,
stricter trade regulations and animal welfare. In a previous study, a series of likely future
scenarios had been developed conceptually through a rigorous analysis that involved farmers,
researchers, industry participants and a multitude of stakeholders. However, the likely impact
of these scenarios at a farm level has not yet been quantified. In an attempt to quantify the
implications of these scenarios, this study developed a bio-economic analytical framework.
This framework has been empirically applied on a case study dairy farm using FARMAX®
whole-farm system software. Future scenarios simulated are “Consumer is King”,
“Governments Dictate”, and “Regulation Rules”. Determining the on-farm adjustments and
then modelling the impact of these on the case study farm enabled in-depth analysis to occur.
The feasibility of each and the economic implications of the changes differed between
scenarios. For two of the scenarios, if they eventuate, further on-farm adjustments will be
Figures 2-2 (=Checkland, 1988 Fig 3), 3-1 (=Sørensen et al., 2010 Fig 3) & 3-8 (=Flysjő et al., 2011 Fig 1) were removed for copyright reasons. Other possibly copyrighted Figures remain for the sake of clarity.