The preparation of a Farm Management Plan (FMP) can focus on a number of different outcomes. An FMP can prepared for a client at the request of a Local Government Authority to support a planning application typically within the Planning Zone, Farming Zone (FZ). A client may also request a FMP to improve the productivity of a farming enterprise or proposed farming or agricultural eneterprise.
An FMP normally ensures that the land is capable of supporting a farming agricultural enterprise. Different locations have different soil types/rainfall characteristics/ water resources including dams and/or available watercourses and topography. This results in a range of Land Capability Classes.
Land Capability Classes for example impact on stocking rates for different farm stock which will help in ensuring that pasture is not overgrazed and bare soil exposed which may result in poor health for farm stock and can also lead to potential soil erosion. An FMP can vary in complexity depending upon the size of the property being evaluated. Other information within an FMP includes financial outcomes and crop and/or stock rotation.
A typical LMP involves the following process:
- Base information completed with an initial desktop review including the use of relevant mapping technologies including Naturekit, Mapshare, Geovic, Nearmap and Google Earth. Additional information can be provided by undertaking a search of relevant databases to obtain any relevant land or farming survey report documents.
- A site survey is completed and is not limited to site conditions including any existing water infrasturture, location and size of any paddocks including an assessment of any existing farming enterprise for stocking, cropping or hay production. The existing soils may be sampled over a range of locations to determine soil fertility and any soil management considerations. Site photographs are taken to be incorporated into the LMP report and a variety of land management instruments are used to measure distances, vegetation heights and GPS locations including a NF-198 Land Meter and Nikon Farm Forestry Pro.
Once all the data has been compiled including background information a site specific FMP is completed for the client and relevant government authorities.