Environmental and economic performance indicators : Farm Management Systems for the Sugarcane Industry, sub-program 2
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This project examines the use of key performance indicators within a Farm Management System (FMS) to assess changes in environmental and economic circumstances attributable to exposure to key risk factors. Such indicators should be standardised across an industry but be sufficiently flexible to reflect regional conditions and preferences of stakeholders from the sugar value chain, government and wider community to ensure local ownership of outcomes. A standard list of indicators that would encompass all major risk factors across all sugar regions was developed. Several approaches were trialled to achieve this. General disinterest amongst industry representatives fuelled by lack of incentives to stimulate indicator based monitoring represented a major impediment to this endeavour during a period when low sugar prices and industry restructuring, reorganisation and re-alignment at the regional and local scale assumed greater importance for the survival of the industry in general and individual businesses in particular. We progressively added entries to the list of indicators to accommodate the perceptions of an increasing number of growers and other stakeholders during the progress of this project. The final list incorporated business related as well as environmental indicators drawn from the Landholder’s Monitoring Guide developed by NRMW, the ABARE NRM survey of farm family households and health and safety material developed by CANEGROWERS Burdekin and Bundaberg.