PR - ENVISAGING FUTURE DAIRY FARM SYSTEMS
Designing future farming systems which are resilient in an increasingly volatile and uncertain environment which is likely to differ considerably from that of today is challenging. This study is Phase 2 of a three phase project investigating future dairy farm systems in New Zealand. In Phase 1 (Scenario Planning Phase), three possible, plausible future scenarios plus a base scenario were developed. This Phase 2 study used farmer and industry workshops to conceptualise dairy farm systems for the three futuristic scenarios, with workshop participants working in groups using mental models to do this. Diverse farm systems were developed with some overlap between the systems in the different scenarios. The farm systems developed for the consumer-driven scenario and the highly regulatory scenario had similarities, but there was very little overlap between these two farm systems and the farm system for the third scenario (political chaos with trade dictated by governments). Farm systems were most diverse under the consumer scenario and least diverse under the political chaos scenario. The identification and description of these future farm systems will inform Phase 3 of this project (Quantitative Modelling Phase). The approach used to identify and describe conceptual models of future farm systems was useful.
Key words: dairying, farm systems, future, scenarios, New Zealand.