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7104.0.55.002 - Agriculture in Focus: Farmers' Perception of a Change in Climate, 2006-07  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/08/2009  First Issue
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1. FARM MANAGER CHARACTERISTICS

ROLE IN THE FARM OPERATION

Agricultural business owner/operators were found to be 20% less likely to consider that the climate affecting their holding had changed than those with a management role in the agricultural business but not an ownership role (the base category). The 'Other' group (employees, accountants etc) were not statistically more or less likely to perceive that the climate affecting the holding had changed than those with a management role but not an ownership role (the base category).

The results indicate that land managers who were owner/operators of the business were less likely than land managers who did not own the business to consider the climate affecting their holding had changed. To put this another way, land managers who did not own the business were 1.26 times more likely than owner/operators to perceive that climate affecting the holding had changed.


Explanatory variableCategoryBase categoryOdds ratio95% Confidence limits

Role in the farm
(*Question 1)
owner / operator
others (employee, accountant, etc.)
business manager0.796
0.889#
0.681, 0.932
0.734, 1.077

* Relates to the Question number on the 2006-07 NRM survey form shown at Appendix 1
# not significant

NUMBER OF YEARS INVOLVED IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE HOLDING

The number of years land managers were involved in the management of the holding provides an indication of farming experience. In this study, based on the spread of the responses, four categories were created - under 15 years, 15 to 50 years, 50 to 65 years, more than 65 years, with the 50 to 65 years group being selected as the base category.

The analysis showed ‘the odds’ that a land manager perceived the climate affecting their holding had changed was less for those who had been involved in the management of the holding for ‘less than 15 years’ and for those in the 'over 65 years' category when compared to the base category of people who had been involved in the management of the holding for ‘50- 65 years’.

There was no significant evidence to suggest that those land managers with between ‘15 - 50 years’ experience managing their holding were any more or less likely to perceive that the climate affecting their holding had changed than the base category of ‘50 - 65 years’.

In short, after taking the impact of all other characteristics into account, the number of years managing the holding appears to impact land managers perception that the climate affecting their holding had changed for those who had been farming either for a relatively short period of time (less than 15 years) or a long period of time (over 65 years) when compared to the base category. Respondents who had been involved in managing the holding for ‘less than 15 years’ were 31% less likely and respondents who had been involved in managing the holding for ‘more than 65 years’ were 64% less likely to perceive that the climate affecting their holding had changed than respondents in the base category of ‘50-65 years’.


Explanatory variableCategoryBase categoryOdds ratio95% Confidence limits

Number of yearsless than 1550~650.6860.569, 0.826
managing the holding15~500.899#0.749, 1.078
(*Question 3)over 650.3640.172, 0.768

* Relates to the Question number on the 2006-07 NRM survey form shown at Appendix 1
# not significant

REASONS FOR IMPROVING NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (NRM) PRACTICES

Respondents who improved NRM practices during the reference period were asked to indicate the main reasons for improving these practices.

The analysis suggests there is an association between management practices and the perception of a change to the climate. Those land managers who consider that ‘improving natural resource management practices’ were highly important factors in ‘improving farm sustainability’,’ increasing productivity’, and ‘improving environmental protection’ were shown to be more likely to perceive that the climate affecting their holding had changed compared to those who had not seen these management practices as ‘important’.

There was no significant difference in the perception that the climate affecting their holding had changed for those land managers who considered ‘improving natural resource management practices’ were important factors in ‘improving risk management’.


Explanatory variableCategoryBase categoryOdds ratio95% Confidence limits

Farm sustainability (*Question 25d)highly importantnot highly important1.4361.292, 1.597
Increase productivity (*Question 25a)highly importantnot highly important1.2841.164, 1.416
Improve environmentalhighly importantnot highly important1.2651.151, 1.390
protection (*Question 25e)
Improve risk management (*Question 25c)highly importantnot highly important1.083#0.980, 1.197

* Relates to the Question number on the 2006-07 NRM survey form shown at Appendix 1
# not significant

MANAGERS WHO SET ASIDE LAND FOR CONSERVATION

The analysis looked at the relationship between land managers who had set aside land for conservation purposes and the perception that the climate affecting their holding had changed. It was found that managers who set aside land for conservation were 12% more likely to perceive that climate affecting their holding had changed than those who had not set aside land for conservation purposes.


Explanatory variableCategoryBase categoryOdds ratio95% Confidence limits

Land set aside for conservation
(*Question 6a)
YesNo1.1211.044, 1.204

* Relates to the Question number on the 2006-07 NRM survey form shown at Appendix 1


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