Farm Planning Objectives: • Efficiency • Safe, pleasant, productive • Environmental control
Major factors: • weather • geography • materials handling Whether new or old - • consider entire farmstead • possible future changes
Farm Planning Factors • • Topography: Is it suitable (flats) for crop production and cattle grazing or • (hilly) for tree plantations, orchards and vineyards? • • Availability of natural resources: Sufficient running water for cattle and • sheep; what about a river for irrigation purposes? • • Location of the farm: How far is it from a market (fresh fruit and vegetables) • or silo (maize, sunflower and wheat crops)? • • Farming practices: The availability of workers must also be taken into • account as fresh fruit, vegetables, citrus and vines need more labourers • (handpicking) than cattle farming. • • Different enterprise possibilities: Sufficient rainfall, soil type, daylight hours • and temperature to yield crops, or rather cattle breeding (Bushveld) where it • is too dry and warm for crops? • • The availability of capital: Aid from the government, Bank loans or Contract • based? • • The preference\experience of the farmer/owner (in a lesser degree) will also • influence decision-making.
Farm Planning factors Do not forget factors such as:- • • Intensity and direction of the wind, • • Average monthly minimum and maximum temperatures • • What time does the sun rise and set through the seasons? • • What is average annual vapour-transpiration rate of an area? • • What is the average humidity throughout the year? • These factors must therefore be integrated in such a way to ensure a sustained farming enterprise. To accomplish this task, the farmer will have to do some planning at first. Planning though, can not be done without knowledge
What are the principles of site selection? • To evaluate the farm in its whole, it will be necessary to draw a map indicating the farm’s topography, boundaries as well as soil and water resources. • This is essential information needed in the planning process when selecting a site for a specific purpose, e.g. building a dam or waterway; the lay out of a new land etc. • North –eastern slopes are preferred for maximum sunlight, warmth and protection from winds. • Slopes do have a tendency to erosion and need to be cultivated with care. Soil erosion can be prevented by not using slopes with a gradient of more than 7º when cultivating for crops.
Site Selection Pay attention to the following when production sites are selected • • Soil types, soil depth and fertility • • Drainage of the soil • • Availability of water • • the natural vegetation • • Access to the area
Site Selection • During the process of selecting an enterprise on the farm one will also take into account the information regarding natural resources and the specific needs for the different enterprises. • The natural resource base must be able to sustain the selected enterprise. The following should be taken into account: • • Water flow onto and off the farm. • • Terrestrial (land) and aquatic (water) living organis found on the farm. • • Expected biomass to be removed from farm and required inputs to replace the loss
Farm layout • A Farm layout refers to the compiling of physical structures such as homesteads, outbuildings, waterways, contours, camps, water supply roads and the layout of orchards, vineyards or lands. • However, the area where the farm is situated, the topography, the availability of natural resources, the farming practices, the different enterprises,the availability of capital and the preference of the farmer/owner will also affect the farm layout.