Designing a Farm Forest / Farm and property management planning
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Designing a Farm Forest

Farm and property management planning

Whole business planning has been widely promoted within the farming community under headings such as whole farm planning or property management planning. These approaches use several tools to help farmers define their forestry-related goals and personal performance criteria.

Mapping the farming enterprise using aerial photographs is useful because it can help identify areas where trees or forest management may be able to contribute to overall farm goals. Areas considered unsuitable for agricultural production might be identified on the map and be an important first step in designing farm forestry options. Similarly, the boundaries between different land classes based on soil types, slope, aspect or other features, may be ideal locations for belts of trees for shelter and land protection.

Some whole-of-business planning approaches look at all aspects of the farming enterprise, including such issues as succession planning. They might also identify opportunities for farm forestry to contribute to, and complement, existing enterprises. For example, younger family members may identify the opportunity to establish and manage a forest for timber production on part of the family farm, while studying or working elsewhere. They could work the forest on their visits home and claim a tax deduction against their off-farm income. By the time they consider settling down they might already be close to their first harvest.

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