Online Tool for Decision Making Pathways

Heytesbury District Landcare Network

  • Project code: PRO-017239

  • Project stage: Current

  • Project start date: Friday, April 7, 2023

  • Project completion date: Wednesday, July 31, 2024

  • National Priority: NCO - National Challenges and Opportunities - M

Summary

This project will provide tools that establish decision making pathways that farmers can use in mapping out their own decision making for introducing innovations into their farming practices. It recognises that each farmer has developed a farming regime to suit her or his own business objectives in the context of the environmental characteristics of the farm. In addition, innovations often need to be incremental, with the farmer assisted in keen observation of changed outcomes, and provided with support for adjusting the decision pathway in the light of experience. Providing a customised, incremental and flexible pathway will build confidence and reduce risks.
 
The tools can be presented in different formats, including the use of communications media to suit the needs of farmers. Formats might include:

  • Fact sheets that outline the options for consideration and the factors influencing the associated costs, benefits and risks
  • PowerPoint presentations that can be used to inform farmers about these options at workshop events or through online delivery
  • Ready reckoner tools whereby farmers can input information about their farm and business aspirations and be guided to an appropriate “next step” in innovation
  • Visual presentations (videos, slide shows, posters, flowcharts etc) about how farmers can monitor outcomes of incremental steps to inform “next step” choices
  • Podcast interviews with farmers for peer learning.

All tools will be developed and tested with farmer input to ensure farmer-friendly delivery that will maximise their access and successful application.

Program

National Rural Issues

Research Organisation

Heytesbury District Landcare Network

Objective Summary

The objectives of this project are identified as follows.

  • To identify the information that farmers need before deciding to introduce innovations into their farm practices, including short and long term returns on investment (social, financial and environmental).
  • To develop decision making pathways for different types of innovation that provide for step-by-step changes, customised to on-farm characteristics and informed by farmer observations, and carefully designed to minimise risks of failure.
  • To develop tools for presentation in various ways that will reach the target audience of farmers, recognising a wide range of farmers’ attitudes towards innovation and environmental outcomes, but common concerns about return on investment and risk management.

The outcomes will be:

  • A range of well tested farmer-friendly tools that can be delivered to groups of farmers in different ways, maximising the reach amongst the farming community.
  • Uptake of these tools by farmers and reported successful outcomes from their application.