Landcare Farming Program

Putting the green in clean and green' for Australian agriculture for over 30 years.

Australian farmers have a long and proud history of achieving exceptional landcare outcomes in environmental stewardship, innovative land management practices and validating new research that improves farm productivity – and protects the health of our soil, water and biodiversity.

The Landcare Farming Program vision is to continue this legacy and strengthen the connection between our farmers and Australian agriculture stakeholders, and help build industry and community resilience in a changing climate.

The Landcare Farming Program, is a joint partnership between the National Landcare Network and Landcare Australia, funded by the Australian Government to strengthen the connection between Landcare and Australian agriculture and build agricultural community resilience.

Key Points

Landcare Farming is working to promote adoption of industry best management practices for healthy soil and water and that maintain or improve biodiversity on Australian farms. At an individual farm level the landcare principles to strive for include:
  • Maintain or enhance soil (to provide nutrients for crop and pastures, have healthy soil biota so it cycles nutrients and stores carbon, good soil structure). To achieve this requires adding nutrients/alkalinity to at least match what is taken off in products, the growth and death of plants, managing where stock go, avoiding ploughing, grazing wet areas etc.).
  • Manage groundcover (to prevents wind and water exposure / erosion). Whilst some would argue this is a subset of the soil principle, this case focuses on grazing utilisation/stubble management, containment feeding etc.
  • Maintain or enhance vegetation (to provide diversity, habitat, store carbon and enhance farm productivity e.g. shelter, shade). To achieve this requires remnant protection, tree planting, weed and pest control and thinning when required (agroforestry), avoiding off target impacts of sprays and nutrients etc.
  • Manage water (to provide habitat, stock and domestic use and reduce flooding/erosion events). To achieve this fencing off waterways and dams, install erosion structures, reticulate water etc. demonstrably assists this outcomes
  • Manage the above, and you build a resilient landscape and business which helps with climate change and drought impacts, as well as drives improved biodiversity outcomes.
To achieve the objectives of the program, and articulate what this would look like on-farm, the Landcare Farming program has reviewed Australian agriculture sector sustainability strategies (and Best Management Programs where available) to identify common soil, water and biodiversity objectives, and identified six themes that underpin on-farm productivity – and improved natural resource stewardship results for farmers. To promote the practices we have provided a set of Landcare Farming Principles to articulate the activities and actions required.
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Landcare Farming Program on the Farm Table