This research contributes to an improved understanding of farm business performance across selected Australian agricultural industries. This is a study of the views, practices and priorities of a selection of producers, seen by industry informants as being effective in managing resources and inputs in order to achieve business and related goals. It provides insights into how these producers analyse and innovate in their business to achieve those goals. This study of how and why these producers make decisions can inform other producers and assist policy makers in engaging more effectively with the needs of producers.

The study sample is 80 producers from the cotton, grains, sheep, cattle, pig, chicken, sugar cane, vegetable, tree fruit and nut industries. The data collection method was through face-to-face interviews.

Critical themes in the data were observed and analysed with results used to construct a Qualitative Framework for Reflective Practice that will help guide other producers in selecting management strategies and tactics.

The report summarises producer perspectives on management strategies, seen as important by the respondents, such as growth, consolidation, rationalisation, reinvestment, and human capital development that are implemented over the long term.

The Qualitative Framework for Reflective Practice developed in this research synthesises the factors reported to be important to business performance so that participants and other producers can better achieve their goals.

The overall results suggest that variables that relate to better farm performance include the ability of a producer to manage personal and business relationships, financial acumen, how the business is structured, planning, and the use of information gathered.

© 2015 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

Roderick Glass

Roderick Glass

Rod has more 40 years’ experience in agribusiness, food supply chains and program and project facilitation. As the head of Response Research, Rod’s recent projects have focused on improving company culture, absenteeism, and retention. Rod has extensive experience running large scale transformation programs and identify and scoping projects that utilise external funding sources.

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