Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

The integration of crop and livestock activities in rainfed farming systems

The integration of crop and livestock activities in rainfed farming systems

Date :  Thursday, 26 July 2007
Time :  3.30pm - 4.15pm
Venue : Conference Rm, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute
Presenter : Prof Ted Wolfe, School of Agricultural & Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University

The organisation of crop-livestock systems, both on farms (mixed farming) and between farms (integrated businesses), is explored from a world perspective. Over a continuum from semi-arid climates to humid regions with fertile soils, mixed farming is favoured in intermediate areas, with specialized crop and livestock businesses at the extremes. Factors such as tradition, land tenure, government policies and management complexity also constrain mixed and integrated farming systems. Natural synergies and skilful management practices produce positive interactions between crops and livestock, at both the farm and regional levels. These interactions are described for a range of countries. Mixed and integrated farming systems provide resilience to potential future shocks such as climate change and fuel shortages. However, these systems are potentially complex and many managers prefer the simplicity of specialisation. In response to future challenges, there is scope for farm managers and policy-makers to promote business partnerships and social adjustments that enable simultaneous specialisation and diversification in integrated crop and livestock activities.

Contact: Ted Wolfe, Email:

Phone: 02 6933 2523