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Key questions for your soil health management plan

Back to What is a soil health management plan?

Some key questions for your soil and your business

The farm business - planning and management | The soil | Machinery and stock

The farm business – planning and management
1.Describe the Farm Business (size, type of enterprises, history)
2.What are the primary business goals?
3.How far ahead do you plan? Is there a long term plan / goal?
4.How much of your time is spent managing the farm business (planning, record keeping etc.)
5.What tools do you use to help you manage the farm business?
6.Do you use a computer to manage the farm business records and plans?
7.Have you ever done a whole farm plan?
8.If yes, when was it done and how useful was it? Is it still useful?
9.Are there any tools or skills that you think you need to help make the farm business more effective?
10.How much time per year would you be prepared to put into developing and implementing a soil health management plan?

The soil
1. How important is the consideration of soil in short and long term planning?
2. Why is this so?
3.What business activities and decisions are affected by the soil or soil condition, and affect or might affect soil condition?
4. Do you have a definition of soil health?
5. What is it?
6.Do you have a goal for soil health?
7.What is it?
8.How often would you walk in most paddocks during the year?
9.Do you look at, handle or sample the soil during any of these visits?
10. Do you have different soils on your farm?
11.Describe the main characteristics of the soils on your farm?
12.Do you have a good appreciation of where the soil differences are?
13.Do soil differences affect any management decisions?
14.Are there any things about your soil that you find difficult to manage?
15.Have you adopted any management practices that are specifically to help soil condition or health?
16.How often have you or do you sample soils for chemical analysis?
17.Do you always use the same laboratory for soil analysis?
18.Who gives you advice with regard to managing your soil fertility?
19.What is your practice with regard to soil fertility management (major nutrients nitrogen, potassium, phorphorus)?
20.What fertility aspects do you deal with besides NPK?
21.Have you ever used lime? Why, when, how much and what was the result?
22.Have you ever used gypsum? Why, when, how much and what was the result?
23. Have you ever used organic manures? Why, when, how much and what was the result?
24.Have you ever used any ‘biological’ products? Why, when, how much and what was the result?

Machinery and stock
1.If you have stock how do you manage paddocks with regard to cropping, pasture and stock?
2.How many different machines and implements do you use to manage your crop or stock?
3.Do you know what they weigh?
4.Do you know their wheel spacing's/axle width?
5.Do you determine tyre pressures within any particular range? Why or why not?
6.Do you have any plans for new machinery in the next 5-10 years? What? Why?
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