Whole Farm Planning
- FarmPlan21 Manual (Department of Primary Industries, Vic). FarmPlan21 is a farm planning program that combines production goals with social and ecological values. This manual will take you through the steps of determining what natural resources currently exist on your property, and developing appropriate management strategies. It provides practical tools to help you approach the complex decisions you face regarding your property’s soils, water resources, biodiversity and risk management. 156 pages. Download here.
- Small holdings property management planning workbook (NRM North). This workbook takes you through property planning in relation to vision, goals, and resources on your property. It covers working with farm maps to design, implement and review a farm plan, and covers things such as risk assessment, SWOT analysis, and reviewing your property plan. 26 pages. Download here.
- Small farm planning in Southern Tasmania (NRM South). This 5-min video provides support for the value of whole farm planning for small landholders. It contains interviews with four small landholders in southern Tasmania who completed a property planning workshop. The landholders talk about the changes they have made, and the way it has improved the natural resources and productive capacity of their properties. 5.03 minutes. View here.
Using Maps for Small Farm Planning
- Land management planning (Bass Coast Shire Council). This guide has a really useful overview of how to prepare a map of your property, and add overlays to show natural features, built structures, and your proposed layout/s. It includes recommended symbols and colours you can use to denote various features on each overlay, allowing you to clearly identify all features and make sound decisions regarding future plans. 28 pages. Download here.
- Property mapping factsheet (Holbrook Landcare). This new resource describes some of the most widely used mapping software programs and mobile apps. It covers their pro’s and con’s, how to download them and – most importantly! – links to tutorials on how to operate them. 4 pages. Download here.
Planning for Habitat and Natural Resources
- Ten ways to improve the natural assets on a farm (Sustainable Farms ANU). This booklet highlights ten projects that landholders can undertake to improve the health of natural assets on their properties, with fantastic photos to accompany each topic. Actions include improving farm dams, establishing native shelterbelts and protecting patches of remnant vegetation. The information in the booklet is underpinned by 20 years of long-term research into biodiversity on farms. 38 pages. View here.
- Building landscape resilience: What you can do on your property to help improve the health and resilience of the local landscape (Central West Local Land Services). The resilience of the landscape is defined as its ability to recover from disturbances, such as clearing, grazing, fire, drought or flood. This guide outlines how to assess landscape resilience. It then explains steps to build resilience, which include: removing or reducing disturbances, allowing time for recovery, protecting and enhancing native vegetation, promoting diversity and complexity, improving landscape connectivity, repairing ecosystem processes, and taking a holistic approach. 40 pages. Download here.
- Healthy environment: Property planning guide for natural resources (NRM South). This booklet contains a series of sections covering some of the natural resource management aspects of small farms. Topics covered include native vegetation, bush birds, threatened species, invasive species, weed management and healthy waterways. 48 pages. Download here.
- How to plan wildlife landscapes: A guide for community organisations (Department of Natural Resources & Environment, Vic). While this guide is quite dated now, it covers some fundamental concepts which remain accurate today in relation to planning for the protection of habitat on your property. The focus is on looking at your property in terms of its connection to the surrounding landscape, and this guide explains it in a clear way. 64 pages. Download here.
General Farm Management
- Healthy farming: Property planning guide (NRM South). This booklet contains a series of short chapters covering some of the key agricultural management aspects of small farms. Topics covered include healthy soils, pastures, animal husbandry, weed management and healthy waterways. 52 pages. Download here.
- Rural living handbook: A guide for rural landholders (NSW Local Land Services). This comprehensive guide takes you through some of the major aspects of buying and managing a rural property. Some of the topics covered include buying a rural property, natural resources, cultural heritage, property management, pests and weeds, emergencies and planning. 56 pages. Download here.
- Look after your natural assets: Landcare for the bush block and small farms in the Upper Murrumbidgee catchment (Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee). This is another overall guide, aimed at landholders in the upper part of the Murrumbidgee catchment, where small peri-urban blocks have been rapidly growing in number over the past 20 years. The guide is divided into sections covering the resource base (soils, water and native vegetation), and managing your property (livestock, wildlife, domestic issues, vegetation, weeds and water). 52 pages. Download here.
- Healthy hectares: A guide for small landholders to create productive and environmentally sustainable properties (Euroa Arboretum). This guide covers planning, soil, water, biodiversity, pests and pasture. It encourages you to look at your property as part of the wider catchment, and to develop your ability to read the ecological landscape. Each section is fairly brief, but covers the main points on the topic, and includes links for further information. 84 pages. Download here.
- A practical guide to rural land management (Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board). This guide is similar to the Rural Living Handbook, but is included here because it goes into greater depth on certain issues, which may be of value to those small farmers who are ready to delve a little deeper. Some of the topics covered include assessment of land capability and stocking rates, assessing pasture quality, and tackling land degradation. 100 pages. Download here.
- Caring for country: A sustainable land management guide for rural living in north central Victoria (North Central Catchment Management Authority). This guide aims to assist new and existing land managers of small properties to protect the health of their land and the broader environment. It provides a starting point for information on a variety of topics, including crops, pastures, horses, revegetation, soil, biodiversity, waterways, plants and animal life. 173 pages. Download here.
- The big shift for small farms (Greater Sydney Local Land Services). Podcast with a range of advice and information for small farmers. Topics covered in series one include: holistic thinking, resilience in a changing climate, compost, supply chain innovations, healthy soils, start-up farming and urban farming. Listen here.
- The key principles of regenerative agriculture (Bass Coast Landcare Network). This 8-part video series investigates the key principles of regenerative agriculture, including: Minimising soil disturbance, maximising crop diversity, keeping soil covered, living roots year round, integration of livestock, and integration of trees. Eight videos, each 3-8 minutes long. View here.
- Foundations of holistic management (Savory Institute). The five e-books included in this bundle cover the basic theories of holistic management, and introduce frameworks for holistic decision-making. The booklets cover ecosystem processes, tools to manage ecosystem processes, creating a holistic context and holistic decision-making. The Savory Institute have an excellent resource collection for holistic management, and this selection of booklets provides a good introduction. 136 pages. Download here.
- Every bit counts: Supporting small farms and lifestyle blocks (Local Land Services). This program and associated website have been designed to provide small landholders with access to knowledge, advice and peer-to-peer support networks. While the program itself is not available in the Riverina (it currently works across the North Coast, Hunter, Greater Sydney and South East Local Land Services regions), the resources and newsletters are a valuable source of information . View here.