Produced through the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program, 91 pages
The box gum grassy woodlands ecological community has declined by approximately 92% from their natural extent, largely due to decades of clearing and nutrient enrichment associated with efforts to improve productivity and profitability of agriculture.
However, a community of practice of producers (self-styled regenerative graziers) has persistently claimed that they have very good environmental performance and biodiversity on their properties and that they are no less profitable than other producers in their regions. Individual case studies have supported these claims.
This project aimed to discover the differences in profitability between graziers whose farms exhibit healthy functional traits and biodiversity of grassy woodlands and all other sheep, sheep-beef and mixed cropping-grazing businesses in their regions. Financial performance of farm businesses was compared with industry benchmarks and the ABARES Farm Survey participants. For additional social context, the project assessed the wellbeing of the graziers and compared this to NSW producers that have contributed to the University of Canberra regional wellbeing survey.
The study found that the regenerative graziers that contributed to this project:
- Are often more profitable than comparable contributors to the ABARES Farm Survey, especially in dry years,
- Had levels of farm profit similar to published industry benchmarks of ‘elite’ producers, and
- They experience significantly higher than average wellbeing when compared to other NSW farmers.