Market and Social Research (7 projects)

Maximising spent litter fertiliser returns through nutrient and carbon management

This project is part of a research project being undertaken by DAF in Queensland on behalf of the Poultry CRC. The purpose is to develop technologies which can improve the fertiliser value of spent poultry litters when used in agriculture through the addition of sorbers (clays) and other additives. Coutts J&R was subcontracted to engage with the poultry industry, manure handlers and fertiliser suppliers to explore the barriers to adoption of this technology.

Management Practice Survey of Grain Growers in Central Queensland

This survey for the Fitzroy Basin Authority is directed towards those growers participating in the Grains BMP program and those who aren’t. It seeks to determine what practice changes have been made in recent years which particularly benefit water quality and how Grains BMP and other initiatives have assisted this change – as well as barriers that might be preventing change.

Evaluation organisational development – Condamine Alliance

This project was commissioned by Condamine Alliance – a Natural Resource Management Regional Body in South Queensland – to ensure its excellence in the key areas of professional expertise in the organisation (areas such as: community engagement; facilitating adoption; economics; evaluation; HRM management).  Jeff Coutts coordinated the project team and providied expertise in the area of evaluation – including benchmarking the approaches used against best practice and working with the evaluation team as needed to strengthen this function as required.

Evaluation of products from the National Dryland Salinity Program

In partnership with Gordon Stone, Coutts J&R undertook a review of the report based products from the final ‘harvest’ year of the National Dryland Salinity Program. The evaluation looked at the process of developing the products as well as the product themselves. It involved telephone surveys with people who have sought copies of the products and those who were directly involved in their development or testing. A broader web survey was also undertaken.

Cultural Imprint of the Herbert Sugar Region

Coutts J&R were part of a 2 year project looking at the Cultural Imprint of the sugar industry in the Herbert Region of North Queensland. The logic is that by better understanding the patterns and relationships, strategies can be put into place to assist people to effectively work together for a better future. To date Jeff Coutts has worked with other social researchers Ian Plowman (DPI&F Qld) and Neels Botha (Ag Research New Zealand) and a project steering comittee to look historical and other factors shaping the ‘imprint’. The results were presented back to the industry for reaction/discussion. A further meeting has been held with a cross section of people who will help facilitate a larger industry workshop to look at how to build on the positives and address barriers to working better together.

The role of consultants in the NZ RD&E System

This project was based in NZ AgResearch Social Research Group (Dr Neels Botha and Hein Roth) and explored the role of consultants in the New Zealand Research, Development and Extension System – particularly as it affects the adoption of improved environmental management practices.

It was based on an informed persons survey, case studies in the horticultural and pastoral industries and a literature review. The project sought to highlight where consultants can be (even) more integrated into the knowledge and adoption system. This phase of the project culminated in a series of seminars in New Zealand in June 2006.

Salinity and Water Quality Education Scoping Study

This study explored the current situation in training for salinity and water quality in Australia and the role of the VET accreditation system in providing a suitable framework under which to develop appropriate courses.

It scoped out the most effective way to pull together existing training in salinity and water quality with the needs of communities and agencies, match them with the capacities of relevant providers and recommend how best to develop and deliver more comprehensive and integrated Units of Competency in these areas.

This study was conducted with Gordon Stone (Gordon Stone and Associates) and Mark Casey (Drawbridge People Learning Strategy) and concluded June 2003. It was agreed to by the National Heritage Trust Ministerial Board and funded by the National Component of the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT).