Farming Landscapes for the Future

Seeder from the Air

Farming Landscapes for the Future

Overview
The Farming Landscapes for the Future – Decision Support for Farmers in Agroforestry Project ran from October 2011 to June 2013, and aimed to increase the capacity of farmers to make informed decisions about integrating agroforestry for landscape scale conservation and biodiversity protection in the Avon NRM region.
Delivery Organisation
Wheatbelt NRM, CSIRO, AvonGro
Contact

Jo Wheeler

A/Program Manager – Sustainable Agriculture

Phone: (08) 9670 3100

Email: jwheeler@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

This project supported the training of Natural Resource Management Officers and farmers across the Avon NRM region in the use of the ‘Farming Landscapes for the Future Tool’ (FLFT), which was developed by CSIRO and AvonGro. The project identified current flaws in the FLFT and worked to refine the tool using current tree growth model calibrations.

The tool predicts the benefits and trade-offs associated with planting trees in the Avon catchment under current and future climate scenarios, an identified knowledge gap in the adoption of agroforestry.

What can the tool do?

  • Compare the economics of a farming enterprise using today’s climate with productivity if rainfall changes
  • Compare the economics of tree crops, sheep and cropping options at the paddock scale
  • Calculates Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and Net Present Value (NPV) of each scenario chosen

What you do:

  • Select the average rainfall or the rainfall year you would like to compare
  • Select the paddock soil type
  • Select the land use you would like to compare – crops, sheep enterprises, tree crops
  • Adjust input costs if required (benchmark figures are provided based on 2012/13 numbers)
  • Compare the different scenarios against each other
Achievements

 

Prior to the Farming Landscapes for the Future project and the development of the tool (FLFT), there were no tools which provided planning information to encourage the adoption of agroforestry on farms in the Wheatbelt. This project updated the software to be more user friendly and developed extensive training materials to support independent learning of the tool.

 

Of the farmers surveyed who participated in this project, 66% were not aware of current farm planning tools for agroforestry. 

 

The project directly improved the knowledge and skills of 135 farmers who attended the 7 regional events, where presentations were given on the FLFT. 100% of farmers who participated in the project had increased levels of awareness, knowledge and skills. 

 

 The practices that the surveyed farmers intend to adopt are:

  • 66% of farmers intend to adopt Sandalwood
  • 50% of farmers intend to adopt Environmental plantings
  • 33% of farmers intend to adopt Oil Mallees
  • 16% of farmers intend to adopt carbon plantings
  • 16% of farmers intend to adopt forage shrubs

Other ways in which this project will have an impact after its completion include:

  • Those farmers who have participated in the project now have a management plan to follow that will enable them to achieve the agroforestry option which they are interested in
  • Farmers will continue to use the tool, through their interaction with NRM professionals, farm advisors and through their own interaction with the tool on the Wheatbelt NRM website 
  • Training materials developed by the project will enable others to undertake training with the software, both through facilitated programs and self-learning opportunities
Downloads
FLFT Manual.pdf22nd May 2015
FLFT_Tutorials.pdf22nd May 2015