The first step to any grazing management, fertiliser, or pasture improvement strategy is to identify which pastures, soils, land classes, and aspects exist on the farm. These can then be categorized into groups, which are managed differently, produce differently and suit different purposes. To achieve this, a farm map is needed, either in hard copy or electronic form.
This article covers topics such as farm mapping and understanding the different aspects of each section of land that give it a level of workability and suitability to your particular enterprise. It also addresses access to water and environmental issues such as erosion and salinity.
The article provides working examples and suggests a farm mapping program called iFarm which is a basic farm mapping program that allows you to map the features of your farm by creating layers over an aerial photo. Typical layers include paddocks and existing fences, proposed fencing, land classes, pasture types, water lines, fertiliser applications, and grazing plans. It can also hold pre-loaded layers including contours and cadastre.