Economic Assessment of Australian Cotton Systems - What are the key drivers of profitability?
Rising costs of production, increased climate variability impacting yield and quality, regulatory constraints and increased value of land all, contribute to the need to increase profitability. Key drivers of profitability in farming systems include yield, price, costs (both on farm and post farm gate) and risk.
In a recent survey of grower needs the issue of what are the costs of chasing the top yields was raised. This came about from growers using more harvest aids increasing their costs, and increasing impacts of delayed harvest on reducing quality, and therefore price. While not specifically relating to end of season management the above has been a recurring question often broached by growers and industry on how to best achieve profit (e.g. IPM and use of pesticides), whether it be managing for high yield or managing costs (or both).
The investment opportunity here is to develop a clearer understanding of the drivers of sustainable and profitable cotton production across varied cotton systems in Australia which can be used for benchmarking cotton crop production performance. The target audience are growers and crop managers responsible for making decisions on investment in crop inputs and management. It also can be useful to agronomists to understand the impact that their advice is having on crop profitability. It is not intended that the outcomes and outputs from this investment be specifically used to inform growers on how to grow cotton or assist them in the development of their own gross margins etc. This investment will provide additional metrics that growers and agronomists can use to assess their systems performances.
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