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The representativeness of ARGOS panels and between panel comparisons

Fairweather, John
Hunt, Lesley
Cook, Andrew
Rosin, C
Campbell, H
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
The core of the ARGOS research design is a longitudinal panel study. Panels of 12 farms were selected to represent conventional, integrated and organic management for the sheep/beef sector, Kiwigreen, gold and organic 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 of production from environmental, economic and social points of view and the design rests on testing the null hypothesis that there is no difference between management systems. Farms in the panels were generally typical of their sectors in terms of obvious characteristics such as size, level of production etc. Farms from a range of geographies and with different levels of intensity of production were chosen in order to achieve results that would be applicable to a broad range of farms. Behind this design is the assumption that the panels are reasonably representative of the sectors to which they belong. The analysis presented in this report tests this assumption. Survey data from both the panels and the sectors are used in order to make comparisons on a number of dimensions of farming.