Keywords

salinity management, land use, farm management, spreadsheet model

Start Date

1-7-2004 12:00 AM

Description

This paper describes the use of spreadsheet models to help farmers and their advisors to makedecisions on land and water use to manage dryland salinity. Salinity management requires an understandingof catchment data and processes. Modelling forms part of the process of understanding the catchment and theturning of data into useable information for salt management. The TARGET project is a NSW governmentpilot program to support integrated catchment management in selected catchments in New South Wales. Amajor feature of the program is the simultaneous progress of research and implementation of salinitymanagement measures in a context of adaptive learning. The research described here took place at the sametime that extension staff and cooperating farmers were planning and implementing salt managementprocedures. The dual focus of the project meant that communication was of central importance and thisaffected the type of modelling carried out. Because of time and data constraints the development of anintegrated model of the biophysical and economic system, including spatial and temporal feedbacks, wouldhave had limited value. Instead a partial model was developed that reflected the financial consequences ofland use changes and was which was transparent to farmers. The biophysical feedback mechanisms and theexternal costs and benefits that they imply were external to the model and based on subjective analysis byexperts in the field. The paper presents selected analytical results and shows that modelling that is accessibleto farmers can best assist salinity management in a context where farmers, advisors, scientists and economistsare working together.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Land Use change for Salinity Management: A Participatory Model

This paper describes the use of spreadsheet models to help farmers and their advisors to makedecisions on land and water use to manage dryland salinity. Salinity management requires an understandingof catchment data and processes. Modelling forms part of the process of understanding the catchment and theturning of data into useable information for salt management. The TARGET project is a NSW governmentpilot program to support integrated catchment management in selected catchments in New South Wales. Amajor feature of the program is the simultaneous progress of research and implementation of salinitymanagement measures in a context of adaptive learning. The research described here took place at the sametime that extension staff and cooperating farmers were planning and implementing salt managementprocedures. The dual focus of the project meant that communication was of central importance and thisaffected the type of modelling carried out. Because of time and data constraints the development of anintegrated model of the biophysical and economic system, including spatial and temporal feedbacks, wouldhave had limited value. Instead a partial model was developed that reflected the financial consequences ofland use changes and was which was transparent to farmers. The biophysical feedback mechanisms and theexternal costs and benefits that they imply were external to the model and based on subjective analysis byexperts in the field. The paper presents selected analytical results and shows that modelling that is accessibleto farmers can best assist salinity management in a context where farmers, advisors, scientists and economistsare working together.