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iEMAP Self Assessment Tool

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(Required)
Section 1 - Whole Farm Planning

Whole Farm Planning

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:

  • Financial management, current assets and projected future requirements;
  • Information on succession planning (if applicable);
  • A map showing property layout, including infrastructure like sheds, pumps, pipelines, irrigation system, powerlines, drains and soil moisture monitoring points;
  • Assessment of soil types and capabilities, crop information and plantings;
  • Environmental features such as native vegetation and saline areas, and a vision of what the enterprise will look like in five years time.
(Required)
For each of the following statements, check the number (0-4) which best reflects your level of knowledge. 0 being NONE 4 being EXTENSIVE.
  0 1 2 3 4
I have knowledge and understanding of the term Whole Farm Planning.
I have a Whole Farm Plan in place.
I have a succession plan in place.
I use my plans to make informed management decisions, and I review my plan s regularly.
(Required)
For the following statement, check the number (1-5) which best reflects your response. 1 being NOT IMPORTANT 5 being HIGHLY IMPORTANT
  1 2 3 4 5
How important do you believe Whole Farm Planning is to the long term sustainability of your farm?
(Required)
Would you like to improve your knowledge on Whole Farm Planning?
What would you like to know more about? For example; you may be considering upgrading or renewal of infrastructure like a pump or pipeline.
Section 2 - Irrigation and Water

Irrigation and Water

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:

  • A good working knowledge of your land's capabilities, especially soil characteristics (which can be revealed by a soil survey). Soil surveys assess: soil types and depths; water holding capacity of the soil; infiltration rates; and crop rooting depths;
  • Having an irrigation system that is designed for: your soil and it's characteristics; your crop water requirements; and salt leaching requirements;
  • Irrigation scheduling and application according to yield and the quality objectives of the crop. This should be done using scheduling tools and by considering other management practices like nutrient and pesticide applications;
  • Knowledge of allocations and water trading process.
(Required)
For each of the following statements, check the number (0-4) which best reflects your level of knowledge. 0 being NONE, 4 being EXTENSIVE.
  0 1 2 3 4
I have taken steps (such as attending workshops etc.) to improve my irrigation management capacity.
I have an irrigation system designed by an Irrigation Association of Australia (IAA) designer which takes account of soil survey results.
I am aware of the licensing and permits I require to take and use water for crop irrigation.
When scheduling irrigations, I consider crop growth stage, soil moisture, weather conditions and salt leaching requirements.
I regularly use soil moisture monitoring tools.
I check and maintain my irrigation system regularly.
I have knowledge of the quality of my drainage water, and I know where it ends up.
I have knowledge of water market operations.
(Required)
For the following statement, check the number (1-5) which best reflects your response. 1 being NOT IMPORTANT, 5 being HIGHLY IMPORTANT.
  1 2 3 4 5
How important do you believe Irrigation and Water Management is to the long term sustainability of your farm?
(Required)
Would you like to improve your knowledge on Irrigation and Water Management? Check one box only.
What would you like to know more about?
Section 3 - Soils and Nutrition

Soils and Nutrition

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:

  • Knowledge of soil characteristics and condition (based on soil tests including pH), the nutritional status of soils on your property, and awareness of the effects of fertiliser use on soil condition;
  • Assessment of the nutritional requirements of your crop by conducting tissue analysis or soil tests, and by assessing yields. Records of nutrient analyses and fertiliser applications can help you make decisions on management;
  • Selecting fertilisers which: match the nutritional requirements of your crop and soil; consider the soil characteristics and condition to prevent the potential for leaching, soil acidification and volatilisation; are suitable for the application method and time of year;
  • Timing your fertiliser application to: coincide with periods of nutrient demand and uptake by the crop; match your irrigation schedule (avoiding leaching irrigations or heavy rainfall).
(Required)
For each of the following statements, check the number (0-4) which best reflects your level of knowledge. 0 being NONE, 4 being EXTENSIVE.
  0 1 2 3 4
I know the characteristics and condition of my soils (including texture, structure, pH, sodicity and carbonates) and use this information to make decisions about crops, irrigation and nutrition.
I assess the need for fertilisers by conducting plant tissue analysis or soil tests and by monitoring crop health throughout the year.
I determine the timing of fertiliser applications according to: nutrient demand and uptake, my irrigation strategy, and the weather.
I take specific measures to minimise run-off and leaching of nutrients.
(Required)
For the following statement, check the number (1-5) which best reflects your response. 1 being NOT IMPORTANT, 5 being HIGHLY IMPORTANT.
  1 2 3 4 5
How important do you believe Soils and Nutrition are to the long term sustainability of your farm?
(Required)
Would you like to improve your knowledge on Soils and Nutrition? Check one box only.
What would you like to know more about?
Section 4 - Pest Plants, Animals and Diseases

Pest Plants, Animals and Diseases

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:

  • Monitoring, from which action thresholds are determined for all pest plants, animals and diseases. Professional advice or assistance can be obtained as required to assist with monitoring and planning your pest plant, animal and disease control program. A number of pest animals (including foxes, rabbits and cats) have a devastating environmental impact through predation and grazing;
  • Chemical use where: chemicals are selected based on identified pests and diseases; the impact on beneficial organisms, the environment and chemical resistance is considered; application timing considers pest and disease populations, action thresholds, life cycles and weather conditions; and where spray equipment is set-up and calibrated to suit the application target;
  • Chemical storage and handling which: prevents contamination of the environment; uses storage and mixing areas with impermeable floors and spill containment located away from water ways; is conducted in accordance with relevant Australian Standards and regulations.
(Required)
For each of the following statements, check the number (0-4) which best reflects your level of knowledge. 0 being NONE, 4 being EXTENSIVE.
  0 1 2 3 4
I monitor regularly for crop pests and/or diseases throughout the growing season, have action thresholds determined for specific pests and diseases and record results of monitoring sessions.
When deciding the timing of chemical applications I consider pest and disease populations, life cycle and weather conditions.
I have taken measures to prevent environmental impacts and contamination from the storage and handling of chemicals on my property.
I can recognise priority agricultural and environmental weeds of the Mallee.
(Required)
For the following statement, check the number (1-5) which best reflects your response. 1 being NOT IMPORTANT, 5 being HIGHLY IMPORTANT.
  1 2 3 4 5
How important do you believe Pest Plants and Animals are to the long term sustainability of your farm?
(Required)
Would you like to improve your knowledge on Pest Plants and Animals? Check one box only.
What would you like to know more about?
Section 5 - Climate Change

Climate Change

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.

(Required)
For each of the following statements, check the number (0-4) which best reflects your level of knowledge. 0 being NONE, 4 being EXTENSIVE.
  0 1 2 3 4
I am aware of predicted climate change in the Mallee and how this may impact on my enterprise.
I have the infrastructure and cultural practices in place to cope with the impacts of more severe weather events.
I manage my property to efficiently use energy and limit greenhouse gas emissions.
I have investigated and am implementing strategies to improve carbon sequestration on my property.
I select the type and amount of fertiliser to apply to reduce potential emissions of nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases.
(Required)
For the following statement, check the number (1-5) which best reflects your response. 1 being NOT IMPORTANT, 5 being HIGHLY IMPORTANT.
  1 2 3 4 5
How important do you believe Climate Change is to the long term sustainability of your farm?
(Required)
Would you like to improve your knowledge on Soils and Nutrition? Check one box only.
What would you like to know more about?
Section 6 - Biodiversity

Biodiversity

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:

  • Movement of saline and/or nutrient rich drainage and groundwater to areas of native vegetation, waterways, wetlands and floodplains;
  • Spray drift and leaching of chemicals and nutrients to off target locations including native vegetation, waterways, wetlands and floodplains;
  • Fragmentation of native vegetation leading to decline in quantity and quality of the vegetation;
  • Encroachment of vehicle traffic through remnant vegetation, rubbish dumping and use of vegetation for storage of machinery or equipment;
  • Pest animal and weed invasion of native vegetation.
(Required)
For each of the following statements, check the number (0-4) which best reflects your level of knowledge. 0 being NONE, 4 being EXTENSIVE.
  0 1 2 3 4
I have knowledge and understanding of the term Biodiversity?
I am aware of guidelines and principles related to the protection of native vegetation.
I am aware of the value of biodiversity and consider it in the overall management of my irrigated property.
I have taken measures to protect and improve the biodiversity on and/or adjacent to my property.
(Required)
For the following statement, check the number (1-5) which best reflects your response. 1 being NOT IMPORTANT, 5 being HIGHLY IMPORTANT.
  1 2 3 4 5
How important do you believe Biodiversity is to the long term sustainability of your farm?
(Required)
Would you like to improve your knowledge on Biodiversity? Check one box only.
What would you like to know more about?
Section 7 - Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage

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.

(Required)
For each of the following statements, check the number (0-4) which best reflects your level of knowledge. 0 being NONE, 4 being EXTENSIVE.
  0 1 2 3 4
I am aware that there are cultural heritage sites and values, both pre and post-European settlement, in my district.
I have surveyed my property (and pump site) for cultural heritage sites, and have protected these sites.
I regularly inspect these sites to assess their condition, and I seek professional advice in the management of these sites.
I am aware of Aboriginal Heritage legislation and what it means for my business.
(Required)
For the following statement, check the number (1-5) which best reflects your response. 1 being NOT IMPORTANT, 5 being HIGHLY IMPORTANT.
  1 2 3 4 5
How important do you believe Cultural Heritage is to the long term sustainability of your farm?
(Required)
Would you like to improve your knowledge on Cultural Heritage? Check one box only.
What would you like to know more about?
Section 8 - Safety and Wellbeing

Safety and Wellbeing

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.

(Required)
For each of the following statements, check the number (0-4) which best reflects your level of knowledge. 0 being NONE, 4 being EXTENSIVE.
  0 1 2 3 4
I have an understanding of my obligations under Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) legislation.
I have identified the health and safety risks on my property to: family, employees, contractors, and visitors.
I have adopted the correct safety measures on my property for: chemical storage and use, machinery use and maintenance, and farm operations.
My first aid training is kept up-to-date and first aid kits are stocked and readily accessible
I ensure that my own health and productivity is maintained through healthy lifestyle choices (such as rest breaks and holidays), and also encourage this amongst my employees.
I am aware that mental health is just as important as physical health and I know where to get help if required.
(Required)
For the following statement, check the number (1-5) which best reflects your response. 1 being NOT IMPORTANT, 5 being HIGHLY IMPORTANT.
  1 2 3 4 5
How important do you believe Safety and Wellbeing is to the long term sustainability of your farm?
(Required)
Would you like to improve your knowledge on Safety and Wellbeing? Check one box only.
What would you like to know more about?