What's required? : Farms With A Future


Farm Plans - What's Required?

What is a Sustainable Farm Plan?

For the purpose of the 'Farms with a Future' project a Sustainable Farm Plan is defined as a document which outlines:

1. Property name and address

2. Farm size and main uses/products

3. A brief description of the farm at the time you took control, describing the state of its soils, water retention & quality, and biodiversity.

4. The improvements that you have already made to its soils, water retention & quality, and biodiversity.

5. The improvements you now wish to implement. Below is a list of suggested sustainable farming practices but this list is not exhaustive.

6. A farm map showing the locations where the improvements listed in 4 and 5 are located. Instructions on how to prepare the farm map are below.

It is envisaged that for the purposes of this project a Sustainable Farm Plan might be 3-5 pages in length (including the farm map) depending on the complexity of the farm activities.

Participants in the project are asked to describe existing and planned improvements in all 3 areas (soils, water and biodiversity).

How to prepare a farm map

  • Go to https://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/
  • In top left click the arrow next to "Search" and select Advanced.
  • This will give a pop-up for advanced search.
  • Select Address tab and enter address.
  • This will give one or more results for the address.
  • Select correct address which will be highlighted on the map.
  • Use zoom bar on top left to zoom in to property.
  • In top right corner click on "Map Contents" to choose items to display on map, e.g. Lot boundaries.
  • Click on Basemaps in top right.
  • You can then adjust the slider to fade between an aerial photo and a map.
  • If you adjust the slider slowly to the correct position you can get faint gradient lines on the photo image.
  • To create a PDF file of the map/image click on the Print/PDF Tool icon at centre top of screen.
  • You can then use a black pen to trace over the contour lines and to show the works described in points 5 and 6 above.
  • Then scan and save the final version.

Suggested Sustainable Farming Practices

SOIL IMPROVEMENT APPROACHES

·             Increase organic matter in soil

·             Encourage biodiversity in the soil and above the soil

·             Move stock based on pasture assessment (managed grazing)

·             Make and spread compost

·             Farm worms for castings & liquids

·             Increase ground cover, including cover crops, mulches, crop waste and stubble

·             Plant green manures

·             Use 'biological-based fertilisers' where possible

·             Avoid non-organic fertilisers and biocides where possible

·             Minimise tillage

·             Protect soils from wind

·             Protect soils against salinity

·             Increase water retention

 

WATER RETENTION & QUALITY IMPROVEMENT APPROACHES

·              Increase carbon in soil

·              Reduce runoff and increase water penetration, eg by contour planting, Yeoman's ploughing, swales etc

·              Use ground works and revegetation to capture water higher in the landscape

·              Use drought tolerant plants and perennial fodder crops

·              Allow flood waters to collect in wetlands

·              Create leaky weirs where appropriate

·              Create chains of ponds where appropriate

·              Treat erosion gullies

 

BIODIVERSITY ENHANCEMENT APPROACHES

·              Maximise natural system functioning

·              Manage holistically

·              Improve soils

·              Re-introduce native plant species

·              Protect and repair habitat for local species

·              Plant field hedges

·              Plant around fenced dams to encourage aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, reduce evaporation etc

·              Connect patches of remnant vegetation

·              Use polyculture farming to encourage diversity (of microbes, insects, plants etc)

·              Actively protect wildlife