This page contains links to previous ABARES research reports commissioned by the GRDC. Click on the links below to be directed to the relevant reports:

Public investment in agricultural R&D and extension: an analysis of the static and dynamic effects on Australian broadacre productivity - 14 Sep 2011 (PDF 2.5MB)

This research provides further evidence of the important contribution of public RandD and extension to broadacre total factor productivity in Australia. It finds that, over the past 50 years, knowledge and technology accumulated from past public investments in RandD and extension in Australia and overseas have accounted for almost two-thirds of average annual broadacre productivity growth.
Funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation as part of the GRDC-ABARES Harvesting Productivity Initiative, this research offers government and industry stakeholders a range of insights into the effects of RandD policies on farm performance.

Innovation and productivity in the Australian grains industry (Research Report 11.6) - 20 Jul 2011 (PDF 605KB)

The objective of this study was to test the influence of growers' innovative capacity on their adoption of innovations, and, in turn, their productivity. An ordered probit model was used to empirically analyse the influence of farm-level factors on the likely effort allocated to innovation (measured by the extent of adoption of a range of innovative activities).

A turning point in agricultural productivity: consideration of the causes - 25 May 2011 (PDF 1.7MB)

This study lends support to the argument that public investment in agricultural research and development has been critical in driving agricultural productivity growth in the past and highlights the important role it could play in countering the expected adverse effects on broadacre farm productivity of changing climate, increasing water scarcity and other resource constraints, and to meet the demand for food from a growing world population.

Productivity pathways: climate adjusted production frontiers for the Australian broadacre cropping industry - 25 May 2011 (PDF 924KB)

According to ABARES traditional productivity indicators (total factor productivity or TFP), productivity growth has historically been strong in the broadacre cropping sector. However, over the last decade, a significant slowdown in productivity growth has been observed. Interpreting these productivity trends and identifying potential policy responses remains difficult due to two key measurement issues. This study introduces two advances to ABARES standard TFP index methodology for measuring productivity change: the production of a climate-adjusted productivity index; and the decomposition of aggregate productivity change into several key pathways.

Harvesting productivity: ABARE-GRDC workshops on grains productivity growth Final Report - 07 May 2010 PDF 419KB)

This report presents the findings from a series of workshops on productivity in the grains industry conducted under the GRDC-ABARES Harvesting Productivity Initiative. The workshops were held in July 2009 with groups of grain growers and agricultural consultants.

Physical and financial performance benchmarks for grain producing farms 

In May 2010, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) commissioned ABARES to develop and explore a series of new physical and financial performance benchmarks to provide insights into how the top performing farms have achieved their superior financial performance in the specialist and mixed enterprise sectors of the grain industry in the 13 agroecological zones. 

The analysis used data collected as part of the annual Australian agricultural and grazing industries survey conducted by ABARES covering the period 1979-80 to 2008-09.

The Physical and financial performance benchmarks for grain producing farms for the six southern agroecological zones report covers:

  • New South Wales Central
  • New South Wales and Victorian Slopes
  • Victorian High rainfall and Tasmania grains area
  • South Australia and Victoria Bordertown-Wimmera
  • South Australia and Victoria Mallee
  • South Australian Midnorth-Lower Yorke and Eyre

The Physical and financal performance benchmarks for grain producing farms for the seven western and northern agroecological zones report covers:

  • Western Australian Mallee and Sandplain
  • Western Australian northern
  • Western Australian eastern
  • Western Australian central
  • New South Wales north-west, Queensland south-west
  • New South Wales north-east, Queensland south-east
  • Queensland central