THE IMPORTANCE OF FARM COMPARISON AND LINEAR PROGRAMMING IN FARM MANAGEMENT RESEARCH OF GLASSHOUSE CROPS
In its totality an industry is a complicated affair. Many factors and their interactions have to be considered. Hence farm management research has to deal with a great diversity of relationships. Many effects can be due to a single cause, but the reverse is also true: many causes may lead to one single effect.
If we for an example try to indicate the quantitative effect of enlarging the surface glass on a specialized glassholding on for instance maximalisation of the profits, it will not be an easy job. The enlarging of the holding may influence many factors, as there are the labourefficiency, the level of the gross returns per square foot, the efficiency of the heating, the cropping scheme and the sales methods. The influence may be positive or negative, whereas these factors may intercorrelate as well.
These relationships can be investigated along two lines. The first method is to analyse farm data. The existing relationships may be discovered and enable us the exposure of weak spots preventing optimum results. This research is based on actual farm account data. The second method presumes the existence of certain technical and economic relationships and calculate the effect of the assumed relations on the management aim.
Both approaches must as mentioned before be directed on the alternative possibilities of farm management and has to compare their effectiveness. Moreover these approaches have to indicate the bottle-necks which hamper the favourable development of the farm management.
Roughly the methods applied by our farm management research can be distinguished in 1) farm comparitive research and 2) budgetresearch.
Whereas the industry has a complex character, the technique of the economic research has a tendency to complexity with all the disadvantages for the communication with the industry. Fortunately it is possible to omit in many cases less relevant phenomena and simplify the research-work, still permitting useful results.
Preparatory to an exposure of the research work carried out in our Institute as regards the glasshouse problems we would like to discuss more detailed the two methods mentioned above.