This study was carried out to explore potential approaches to managing production and market risks associated with climatic variability in dryland grazed systems. The methodology is novel in that it considers farmers’ ability to make sequential adjustments to their production activities when information on uncertain events becomes available. Traditional approaches to evaluation of farmers’ response to risk assume perfect knowledge of production resources and that risk emanates from uncertainty in yield returns. Strategic approaches are mostly considered in evaluating farmer’s risk attitude implying that managing the variability (risk) assumes that different production activities resource requirements are known (non-embedded risk). In real farming systems, the producers make sequential decisions and adjust the timing and methods of their activities as a season progresses and more information on uncertainty becomes available (embedded risk). This chapter describes a platform adopted in making destocking and marketing decisions by simulating the impact of implementing alternative tactical adjustments. The algorithm was successfully tested in a research that investigated the physical and economic impact of incorporating tactical responses in risk management strategies in dryland sheep production systems in New Zealand. The algorithm can be integrated into existing grazing models and can also be used as a standalone system.
Part of the book: Theory and Application on Cognitive Factors and Risk Management
Farm profitability is the key driver of most livestock enterprises. The productivity and profitability are driven by genetic potential of the animals and the ability to express the superiority in the production environment. In an ideal situation, an animal should produce maximally as dictated by the genetic potential. It is noteworthy that the environment in which an animal lives in impacts on its ability to expose its genetic potential. Studies have shown that it is rarely feasible to provide animals with ideal conditions to express their full genetic potential. The environment in which animals are reared is characterised by many factors that interact in ways that result in different performance even in animals of similar genetic makeup. For instance, thermal environment is critical in poultry production as it affects both the production and reproduction in different ways. The thermal environment affects chicken differently depending on the stage of growth or production phase. This environment has been impacted by the climate change and subsequent increase in climatic variability resulting in thermal challenges in naturally produced chicken thus altering production and reproduction. This implies that there is need to consider thermal resource in the routine poultry management practices. This would result to design of poultry production systems responsive to the thermal environments more so in the light of climate change and the subsequent increase in climatic variability. This chapter explores the impact of heat stress on chicken production, reproduction, health and its dietary amelioration.
Part of the book: Advances in Poultry Nutrition Research