Risk/reward of new farming practices

A new tool to better assess the risk/reward of new farming practices and technologies

Project Funder: Soil CRC

Project Lead Organisation/Researcher: West Midlands Group, Dr Nathan Craig

Project Duration: October 2022 – June 2024


This project aims to develop an improved reporting tool for next users (researchers, grower groups, advisers, etc.) to produce information that can help end users (farmers) to better understand the risk and reward of adopting new farming technologies and practices. This tool will enable reporting on a broader range of financial, environmental, social, and governance factors. It will assist extension agencies (including Soil CRC partners) to present the outcomes of research to end users (farmers) in a standardized way that allows better evaluation and balance between the short- and long-term soil health benefits and improved farm profitability of a new practice, leading to better soil health outcomes.

Description and background

Since the adoption of new farming practices and technologies is often simplified to one major driver of adoption – improved farm profitability, but there are many other factors that impact farmer’s ability (or otherwise) to adopt a new farming practice, and can include emotional, social/community, environmental, and other emerging business risk factors. However, this project aims to develop a new project reporting tool to better convey the risk and reward of new farming practices for farmers to make more informed decisions when choosing to adopt.

The reporting tool developed will displace the current use of Gross Margin (financial only) analysis currently used by farmers to evaluate the assess risk and reward of new practices and technologies. This new reporting approach will take into account a greater range of parameters that are relevant to the adopting farmer, and includes financial, environmental (e.g., soil health), social (e.g., social license), and governance (e.g., sustainability, compliance) factors.


This project is a partnership between Soil CRC, Central West Farming Systems, West Midlands Group, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group and CSU.