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“School of Agriculture and Food Systems
Data and Decisions
Assignment 1: Agricultural System Analysis
(2000 words)

Many new agricultural enterprises that have been developed over the past 20 years including the Emu industry the Kiwi fruit industry Blue Gum plantations and to some extent the viticulture enterprises around the country suffer from the classic Boom and Bust phenomenon. This often results from poor decision making processes and lack of understanding of the agricultural system and the environment in which it operates.

System analysis is a well established science which has been applied to a wide range of problems. Choose an agricultural system such as a Dairy Feed Pad Feed Lot Piggery Fish Farm Controlled Traffic Broad acre cropping system or Vineyard etc. and prepare a report on this system. The report should clearly introduce the concept of system analysis apply some level of system analysis to the chosen agricultural enterprise and based on the system models developed in this analysis identify the key inputs outputs and controllers of the system. You should quantify the key inputs and outputs for the system identifying any assumptions you have made about the scale of the enterprise. Based on your analysis of the system identify how the magnitudes of inputs outputs and other material flows through the system will change as the enterprise is scaled up or down.

The report should provide adequate background information for your system analysis based on data and ideas gained from reading current research papers and recent books about your chosen agricultural system. It is suggested that your study would include at least 7 to 10 recent journal papers codes of practice and books but should avoid using general web sites unless necessary.

Your report should present a suitable flow diagram to describe the system and identify how material flows through the system and just as importantly how information from various parts of the system could be gathered and used to better control the agricultural enterprise system. Note: you must properly reference all papers codes of practice and books used in developing your report.”