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Has modelling replaced science?

The role of science in policy-making is becoming more important, as governments tackle complex environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable land and water management. However, close scrutiny of some of the ‘science’ utilised to inform policy decisions reveals that there is an increasing reliance on modelling, rather than actual science. This raises some difficult questions for governments, in that it is often more difficult to scrutinise the results of modelling, and small variations in assumptions can result in large changes in outcomes. (more)

Over the next 18 months the Australian Farm Institute will be conducting a comprehensive review of the Australian grains extension system and evaluating extension models from the US, Brazil and Denmark to inform the industry about opportunities and possible design options for grains extension systems to drive productivity growth. (more)

How many farmers are there in Australia, and how has the number changed over time? The answer to a simple question like this would normally come from official government statistics – in Australia’s case the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). But unfortunately, it’s not that simple... (more)

For this section of farm institute insights, ‘in my view’, the Institute invites comments on a particular topic from two politicians with differing policy viewpoints. In this August edition of farm institute insights, Kelvin Thomson MP and Senator Chris Back give their opinions on whether the new live export regulations are effective in protecting the welfare of live sheep and cattle. Readers are invited to continue the discussion on the Institute’s blog. (more)

A brief review of media misconceptions about rural Australia. In this edition of farm institute insights, we discuss the level of fear and paranoia in current milk marketing, and whether concerns about 'permeate' in milk are damaging the reputation of the dairy industry. (more)

In this edition, we report on the development of a national agricultural land register, the launch of the AgriFood Skills 2012 Environmental Scan, the State of the Climate Report, GMOs declared 'no risk', the US drought and latest statistical reports. (more)

A review of Australian Farm Institute activities including substantial media interest on the topic of land use, changing personnel at AFI, and information on the upcoming Annual Agriculture Roundtable Conference. (more)

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