VegBIZ - vegetable enterprise decision support systems (VG08021)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
The VegBiz project developed and delivered a financial decision support tool to the Australian vegetable industry. VegTool was a grower friendly cost of production calculator that generated figures about income, growing costs and gross margins for vegetable crops. Scenarios for different crops and management practices could be developed, saved, compared and interpreted. VegTool financial reports and program functions could assist growers’ decisions about crop production and management practices and provided users with opportunities to improve their financial understanding of growing costs and returns. The primary audience for VegTool was Australian levy paying vegetable growers and industry professionals who had contact with vegetable growers.
Awareness of VegTool and its benefits were raised through media articles, field demonstrations, workshops, conference presentations, websites and publications. Training and support materials were developed for the delivery of information at industry and field events. VegTool information was available at several industry organization websites including the AusVeg, (Peak Industry Body of the Australian vegetable industry) website.
Information and training activities were conducted in all Australian states. These were attended by growers, researchers, rural support workers, commercial service providers and industry development officers. The VegTool functions were demonstrated and interpretation of financial reports discussed. Several crop scenarios which compared different vegetable management practices were presented and the impact on operational costs and gross margins explored. These examples demonstrated how VegTool could be utilized for making crop and farm management decisions.
VegTool CD’s were distributed at field events, by direct mail and downloads at the Ausveg website. The uptake of the program was most successful where there was direct contact with growers. A series of vegetable crop gross margin budgets were also developed and published to compliment VegTool activities.
Evaluation of the project indicated that VegTool suited the needs of vegetable growing businesses. Many growers reacted positively responding that it was specific for vegetables and it enabled them to calculate and record their production costs and make decisions based on VegTool financial reports. Industry professionals were strong advocates of the program and many were utilizing it extensively in their service delivery to growers.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of the vegetables industry.
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