Differences in management practices and attitudes between the Triple P Program entrants and other pastoral producers in the region Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • A survey of the pasture productivity settings, practices and attitudes was undertaken for 229 pastoral producers who volunteered to enter the Triple P Program in 1997, and for 89 pastoral producers from 2 representative districts of Victoria. The latter group of producers was considered to be representative of the general population of pastoral producers in the regions where the Triple P Program was undertaken. Comparison of the survey results reveals that the volunteer participants entering the paired-paddock extension program employed different management practices and had different attitudes to productivity issues compared with the general pastoral producers. Before entering the program the Triple P volunteers were already employing more productive practices such as soil testing, measuring pasture availability and spring lambing. In addition the volunteers had higher whole-farm stocking rates and fertiliser use than the general pastoral producers. The different management practices employed by the 2 groups were consistent with their contrasting attitudes towards managing their farms. The Triple P volunteers were focussed on improving production per hectare through increased stocking rates, which could be achieved by additional expenditure on fertiliser and pasture renovation. The general pastoral producers were more focussed on improving production per head which was achieved by gauging animal performance, maintaining stock in good condition and maintaining expenditure on animal health. We contend that the differences identified between the producers volunteering to participate in the Triple P Program and the general pastoral producers are a direct consequence of the voluntary approach used to recruit Triple P participants. This approach attracts a select group of farmers who are inclined to engage in extension and training activities and tend to have different attitudes and practices to the general pastoral producer. A more proactive approach to recruitment will be required if a larger proportion of the general producer population is to engage in the paired-paddock extension program.

publication date

  • 2001