This chapter explores agriculture trends in the Australian context where many competing forces are shaping the agricultural landscape. It focuses on the role of knowledge intensity as a driver of farmers' decisions to specialise in both commodity production and land use. The chapter explains examples from research conducted across the wheat/sheep belt in New South Wales (NSW). In contrast to diversification, specialisation had allowed farmers to focus their knowledge and skills on fewer enterprises and to maximise their return on investments in human capital. In order to implement controlled traffic cropping, fence-lines were being adjusted to create bigger paddocks. A renewed awareness is emerging of the importance of mixed crop-livestock systems as a means of improving system diversity, nutrient cycling and other natural processes. Certainly the mixed farm of the future will look very different to farming systems of today, with complex and knowledge intensive management systems an integral part of the farm business.
|Title of host publication||Rural Change in Australia|
|Subtitle of host publication||Population, Economy, Environment|
|Editors||Rae Dufty-Jones, John Connell|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|