Skip to content. |
Skip to navigation
A well designed whole farm plan provides the foundation for maintaining the viability and sustainability of an irrigated farm.The plan should identify aspects of the property and your business management to be improved, clearly defining the issues involved.Your whole farm plan should include:
Effective irrigation and water management is critical for sustainable and viable irrigated farming in the Mallee. Drought and changes such as the uncertainty over water security and the unbundling of water from land have increased the need for careful planning and management of irrigation water.
Critical aspects of irrigation and water management include:
It is important to know the capabilities of your soil.
Soil surveys and test results provide invaluable information about your soil's suitability for irrigated crops. They assess: soil types and depths; water holding capacity; infiltration rates; organic matter content; the location of impermeable and carbonate layers; and nutrient status. This information will help you to maintain the productivity of your soil and prevent degradation through salinity, water logging or soil erosion, which can also have off site impacts associated with the transport of salt, nutrients and other chemicals.
Nutrition management is also essential for the productivity of irrigated crops. High fertiliser costs, and the impacts associated with nutrient losses from the farm, require that nutrients are applied at the right time, in the right quantities, and in the correct way. Effective nutrition management requires:
An effective pest plant, animal and disease management strategy will seek to maintain effective control of target pest plants, animals and diseases, minimise the use of chemicals, increase the level of beneficial organisms on the farm, and minimise off target impacts and contamination.An effective strategy should include:
It is now accepted that human activity is causing a change in the global climate patterns beyond that which can be attributed to normal variability. Political and economic responses are slowly being developed to deal with the challenge of climate change.
In the Mallee it is predicted (over the next 20 years) that the climate will become warmer and drier. There is expected to be an increase in the average temperature and the number of hot days, a decrease in the number of frosts and rainfall (especially in spring), and there will be an increase in the amount of evaporation.
There will be less water available (and of lesser quality due to reduced stream flows) and increased demand for this water. Increased evaporation will change the growing regimes for irrigated crops. Higher temperatures could reduce the yield and quality of crops grown, and more intense weather events could also lead to storm damage and soil erosion.
Biodiversity is the sum of all our native species of flora and fauna, the genetic variation within them, their habitats, and the ecosystems of which they are an integral part. Biodiversity includes native vegetation, waterways, wetlands and floodplains and the birds, animals, and invertebrates that live in them. Biodiversity can contribute to farm productivity through pollination, wind protection, natural pest control processes, reducing groundwater recharge and discharge.
Irrigated farming has the potential to impact on biodiversity through:
The Mallee region is rich in cultural heritage, with some of our Indigenous occupation sites dating back around 50,000 years prior to European settlement. Cultural heritage includes both Indigenous and early post-European settlement history. Many early post-European and Indigenous sites have been registered, however many people are unaware of their existence.
Aboriginal places and objects can be found all over Victoria and are often near major food sources such as rivers, lakes and swamps.
Early settlement buildings, equipment and infrastructure form part of the history of the region as well, and are valued by many in the community.
Increased awareness of cultural heritage in the farming community can assist in the protection of heritage sites, with benefits for the whole community.
Healthy people are essential for maintaining productive irrigated farming. People are a valuable and vital asset in any business which means good people management skills and farm safety are essential for the effective running of your business.
On-farm health and safety awareness and practices are promoted widely in the farming community.
It is important that safety objectives are clearly communicated to anyone working on or visiting the farm.
© 2017 Mallee Catchment Management Authority. All Rights Reserved | Terms and Conditions | Site by Mooball IT