The Benefits of Farm Mapping

Property maps are pivotal in any farm business with boundless examples of where having a property map adds value and efficiency.

Let’s kick this off with the bleeding obvious, with land type mapping enabling producers to identify areas of land that differ in their capability to produce.  Knowing the existing and potential productivity of an area will assist you in making informed management decisions.

There are a large number of examples of primary producers falling inadvertently on the wrong side of the law by clearing areas that were protected under the various state and federal native vegetation acts.  With a little bit of research, planning and negotiation this could have been avoided.  They say a picture paints a thousand words.  Imagine being able to overlay vegetation maps over your farm map and then incorporate photos into that map showing the nature of the vegetation (lantana or other pests possibly).  This would have to put all of the aces in your negotiating hand.

When creating a farm water reticulation plan you would have to normally hire specialised surveying equipment or a water consultant.  With modern farm mapping software you can produce a 3 dimensional image which can give you expected flow rate calculations.

Landcare groups and farmers are making great use of property maps to seek funding for projects and to monitor or report on the progress of those projects.  Projects could include land degradation, pasture, weeds and wild dog management.  Once again the progress of the project can be embedded in the property map in the form of notes and photos.  The whole project can also be planned and reported upon within Phoenix when integrated with our Financial/Budgeting modules.

Now we can all relate to this one we’re sure, infrastructure records.  One of our staff believes his mattock is attracted to plastic poly pipe.  If he ever wants to find where the poly is laid he just reaches for his mattock and sure enough, there it is (along with a new fountain).  Seriously though, think about the benefit of throwing the electricity suppliers aerial cable layer over your farm map and including that in your property induction program.  Or when you have contractors visit the property being able to provide them with a detailed map of infrastructure and hazards in the area that they are working within.

Already we have seen significant bushfires this season.  Properties with a Bushfire Threat Assessment done are better prepared than those who don’t.  Picture the face of the CFA/RFB member when they come onto your property and you can present them with a 3D map of your property showing hazards, vegetation types, water points and tracks.  The team leaders’ job is half done for them.  After the fire, you can then overlay the affected areas on your map to provide to the insurance assessors.

When used in conjunction with a Grazing program such as Phoenix Grazing, you can view and communicate the grazing performance on a paddock by paddock basis.  If you have ever looked at a grazing chart you will appreciate the graphical representation provided when integrated with the property map.

As you can see, a property without a property map is generally information sitting in someone’s head that needs to come out and be presented for the whole farm community including those who work there from day to day and those who visit.  There is a raft of government information coming available freely that can be overlayed on these maps providing you with valuable information about your farming enterprise.  Take advantage of it.  AGFORCE Projects in Queensland run farm mapping training and AGDATA offers group, one on one and online training.  Other State Farming Associations are encouraged to contact us to arrange training in your states for your members.