Using your own results during the management period and those of your fellow students, write a report on your farm in the Future Farm Business Game. The decisions made by the different groups and the outcomes will be discussed at the end of the session. In particular discuss;
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of your own farm at the end of the management period which includes:
- Profit after tax;
- Proportion of the farm in crop and pasture and variation thereof between years;
- Rainfall and its variation across years (mean and standard deviation), plot a graph;
- Gross margins as a basis for making decisions. What is gross margin and how does variation in rainfall and market cause gross margin to change from year to year?
- How did the commodity prices change and how did you respond to the price signals?
- KPIs of your farm compared to the groups in the class at the end of the management period. Compare and contrast why the differences occurred and what choices produced those results given that everything except the management and choices were similar.
- Did you choose to plant trees? Where did you place them, when during the management sequence and why? How did this compare to the other students?
- Did you choose to plant perennial pastures? Where did you place them, when during the management sequence and why? How did this compare to the other students?
This assignment addresses the following:
- Analyse the relationships between social, economic, environmental and cultural factors on agricultural systems and implications for structure of agricultural businesses;
- Assess the advantages and disadvantages of enterprise diversity within a farming system and explain the importance of biodiversity;
- Demonstrate skills in succinct report writing, good organisation, logical argument and presentation skills.
Written report: 1,000 – 1,200 words, not including tables, graphs and references.
The written report will be marked out of 30 marks and is worth 25% of the final mark for this subject.
Assignments which are not submitted by the due date will incur a penalty at the rate of 10% marks lost per day to a maximum of 5 days late. Individual extensions will only be granted upon receipt of medical or counsellor certificates. Extensions will not usually be granted if requested after the due date.
You will be expected to refer to predominantly published, peer-reviewed or reputable publications in your assignments. Refer to the reading guide in this subject outline for suggested text and on-line sources.
Your report will be assessed on:
- Description: accurate summary and description of the KPIs listed above of your own farm – 8 marks;
- Analysis: depth of analysis of the comparison of KPIs of your farm compared to the other groups in the class – 8 marks;
- Discussion: Detailed discussion on how your management decisions have affected KPIs and how your decision to plant trees has affected these – 8 marks;
- Style: fluency of writing and ease of reading, presentation of information in a clear and understandable form—2 marks;
- Mechanics: correct grammar and spelling—2 marks; and
- Presentation: set out in the correct format, use of appropriate headings and sub-headings, reasonable length i.e. within the word limit—2 marks.
It is essential that your report includes appropriately summarised and referenced information from peer reviewed or reputable publications. Refer to the subject readings for the suggestions of the types of sources to be used.
Students should use the Harvard Author-Date referencing style when preparing assignments. More information can be found on this style from the Library web site:
Guidelines for Submission:
All assignments must be submitted through the LMS.
Students should allow a 2 week marking turn-around for written assignments.
Any plagiarism will be dealt with according to University policy taking account of the nature of the offence and the expectations of any offending student(s) (related to stage of the course and any prior warnings in this unit).