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4 CONCLUSION


I believe that this thesis shows the promising potential of dynamic farm models. Hypothetical as well as real farm management practices can be projected and simulated. Effects of farm size, size of other farm enterprises, cropping patterns, seasonality and different management strategies on sustainability indicators, like in this case efficiency, can be assessed rapidly. Simulating the response of a range of conditions makes the user sensitive to the system behavior and shifts the focus from linear thinking to a systems point of view. The effects can be astonishing, like in the case of the chicken submodel.

At present, of course, it still is impossible to determine which farm management strategy is able to sustain or even regenerate the natural resource base. To perform such an analysis much more information has to be included into the model. FARMSIM as presented here has to be considered a first step towards a more sophisticated farm management tool.