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. This project increased access to planning tools that help landholders add agroforestry to farming systems in the Avon NRM region.
Delivery Organisation
Wheatbelt NRM, CSIRO, AvonGro
Contact

Felicity Gilbert

Program Manager – Sustainable Industries

Phone: (08) 9670 3112

Email: fgilbert@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

This project was a partnership between Wheatbelt NRM, CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, and AvonGro. The Farming Landscapes for the Future Tool (FLFT) was developed by CSIRO and AvonGro. The tool tests the economic outcomes of growing perennial plants against traditional cropping and livestock systems and different climate scenarios. This was a recognised knowledge gap for people wanting to add agroforestry to their farms.

 

However, to increase its use by landholders and agricultural professionals, the FLFT needed review and refinement. Better guidance on using the tool was needed, and flaws needed to be corrected. The tool also needed economic and tree growth modelling data from the University of Western Australia, the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, and CSIRO.

 

Prior to this project and redevelopment of the FLFT, there were no tools available that provided information on introducing and planning agroforestry onto Wheatbelt farms.

 

What can the tool do?

  • Using today’s climate information, compare a farming enterprise’s economics with productivity at a different rainfall level
  • 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

How to use:

  • Select the average rainfall or rainfall year you want to compare
  • Select the paddock soil type
  • Select the land use you want to compare – e.g. crops, sheep enterprises, tree crops
  • Adjust input costs if required (provided benchmark figures are based on 2012/13 numbers)
  • Compare the different scenarios against each other
Achievements
  • Developed a cutting edge tool that is easier to use, includes up-to-date data
  • Developed a user manual and 5 tutorials to support independent learning with the tool
  • Ran workshops demonstrating the FLFT tool and its use, working with 135 landholders and agricultural professionals
  • Developed 6 case studies showing how to use the FLFT:
    - Sandalwood vs Wheat/Grazing at Gabbin
    - Carbon Production from biodiverse Sandalwood systems on different soil types at Gabbin
    - Sheep + Wheat vs Sandalwood at Goomalling
    - Barley vs Oil Mallees at East Pingelly
    - Cropping vs Oil Mallees for Carbon at Meckering
    - Oil Mallees for Carbon at Bonnie Rock
  • Developed management plans for 5 landholders, comparing current farm practices with  selected agroforestry options and outlining steps needed to make changes
  • Project participants reported they would adopt the following practices:
    - 66% Sandalwood
    - 50% environmental plantings
    - 33% Oil mallees
    - 16% carbon plantings
    - 16% forage shrubs

Download your own copy of the Farming Landscapes for the Future Tool, or contact the Sustainable Industries Program Manager on 08 9670 3100 for a copy. 

Downloads
FLFT Manual.pdf22nd May 2015
FLFT_Tutorials.pdf22nd May 2015