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Riskwi$e: How BE principles can help decision making in the grains industry

Updated: Mar 6

RiskWi$e, formerly known as the National Risk Management Initiative (NRMI), is a 5-year national initiative of around $30 million that will run from 2023 to 2028. It seeks to understand and improve the risk-reward outcomes for Australian grain growers by supporting grower on-farm decision-making.


CSIRO is the national project lead and they have partnerships with growers, advisors, grower groups and research providers, including UWA, to deliver the program.


The Riskwi$e program will:


  1. Involve grain growers in the identification of on-farm decisions that have unknown components of risk-reward that will be studied to elucidate new insights.

  2. Develop an improved understanding of the risk-reward relationships for on-farm management decisions.

  3. Inform growers and their advisers of new insights into optimising rewards and managing risk.

  4. Challenge grower decision-making so future management decisions are evaluated in terms of the probability of upside returns offset against the associated downside risks.


RiskWi$e comprises 5 themes:


  • Nitrogen (N) decisions: The nitrogen (N) decisions theme will take a whole-of-system approach to help growers assess N decision strategies encompassing fertiliser and legume use.

  • Sowing decisions: The sowing decisions theme will develop long-term strategies to help determine sowing location, varietal selection and sowing timing while considering landscape, farm and paddock conditions.  

  • Enterprise agronomic decisions: The enterprise agronomic decisions theme will investigate crop sequence decisions from crop choice, fallow choice, soil amelioration and weed/disease management strategies.  

  • Enterprise financial decisions: The enterprise financial decisions theme will help with decision making related to farm economies of scale, operating costs, commodity prices and marketing, grain storage availability and labour management.  

  • Managing natural resource capital: The managing natural resource capital theme will help farmers make decisions that support improved soil health and soil carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and non-chemical weed control.  


Plus, an overarching body of work will incorporate behavioural science across all themes that will focus on grower behaviour change.


Dr Rick Llewellyn and Dr Lindsay Bell will co-lead CSIRO’s coordination of grower group activities, analytics, behavioural science and farming systems research across Australia. UWA’s Centre for Agricultural Economics and Development (CAED) will help to deliver the behavioural science program with a focus on understanding the grower behaviour change. 


CAED’s Deputy Director, Associate Professor Fay Rola-Rubzen, is leading the team of highly qualified and experienced agricultural economists including Professor David Pannell, Associate Professor Marit Kragt, Dr Fiona Dempster and Associate Professor Ben White.


“Building greater awareness and consideration of behavioural insights is important to ensure impactful delivery of research, communication and activities to different audiences” said Dr Fay Rola-Rubzen.

The CAED team will interview over 100 grain farmers and inform the development of tools, communications and strategies for improved risk-reward decision making and adoption.


Currently, the team are raising awareness of risks that affect the performance of the farm business (read this Pannell Discussion) and building capacity around the value of behavioural economics. A series of short videos are being released on various BE principles and their implications to agriculture in Australia (Riskwi$e Perspectives), the first of which is available below:




 More Information


Websites


Articles


Videos

Subscribe to Riskwi$e Perspectives: https://www.youtube.com/@RiskwisePerspectives-bt9wc


Key Contacts


Associate Professor Fay Rola-Rubzen: fay.rola-rubzen@uwa.edu.au 

Dr Fiona Dempster: fiona.dempster@uwa.edu.au 

Associate Professor Ben White: benedict.white@uwa.edu.au 

Associate Professor Marit Kragt: marit.kragt@uwa.edu.au

Prof David Pannell: david.pannell@uwa.edu.au


For general enquiries contact Tammie Harold at tamara.harold@uwa.edu.au or (08) 6488 5507.


Riskwi$e partners





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