New Zealand farmer and orchardist attitude and opinion survey 2008 : characteristics of organic, modified conventional (integrated) and organic management, and of the sheep/beef, horticulture and dairy sectors

The core of the ARGOS research design is a longitudinal panel study of New Zealand farms (including orchards in the case of the kiwifruit sector). Panels of 12 farms were selected to represent conventional, integrated and organic management for the sheep/beef sector, Kiwigreen, gold and organic green management for the kiwifruit sector, and conventional and organic management for the dairy sector. The research involves gathering data on these farms in order to assess the nature and effects of production from these different management systems from environmental, economic and social points of view. A survey in 2005 provided the means to examine general farmer attitudes and practices and to assess what differences may occur in the different sectors and for farms under different management systems. It also provided the means to show that the panels were reasonably representative of the sectors to which they belong. The ARGOS research design included a second survey in 2008 in order to test and elaborate on emerging research results. This report is the first presentation of the 2008 results.The questions asked of farmers were sourced from contributions from the team of ARGOS researchers drawing on results and issues in the literature, and from contemporary farming issues. These sources provided too many questions for one questionnaire. Accordingly, two questionnaires were used, one sent to a simple random sample of all New Zealand farmers and the other sent to separate random samples of each of the main farming sectors, namely sheep/beef, dairy and horticulture. The two surveys generated a large data set. In order to make the results easier to comprehend we have presented them in two separate outputs, as follows: 1. Analysis of the three main sectors (sheep/beef, dairy and horticulture) and the three main management systems (conventional, integrated and organic) (this report). 2. Analysis of agriculture generally (see companion report).