Enhancing the natural assets of agricultural landscapes for biodiversity and productivity.
Farm dams, creek lines, vegetation and rocky outcrops are natural assets that are essential for healthy, sustainable farms. Protecting and enhancing these elements of natural capital on farms not only supports biodiversity but also contributes to farm productivity and to the well-being of farmers and farming communities.
Natural Asset Farming: Creating Productive and Biodiverse Farms reveals seven key natural assets and why they are so valuable for biodiversity and productivity on farms. Drawing on two decades of long-term ecological monitoring and knowledge exchange with farmers, Landcare groups and natural resource management experts, this book is a tool for building and enhancing natural assets in agricultural landscapes. In bringing together ecological science and the experience of farmers in the wheat–sheep belt of south-eastern Australia, Natural Asset Farming will help foster ideas, boost resilience and improve the sustainability of agricultural production.
About the authors
List of contributors
Introduction: Natural asset management on farms
Chapter 1. Planning changes that make a difference
Chapter 2. Enhance farm dams
Chapter 3. Establish shelterbelts and other plantings
Chapter 4. Protect remnant woodland
Chapter 5. Protect creeks, wetlands and riparian zones
Chapter 6. Protect paddock trees and grow new ones
Chapter 7. Maintain native perennial grasses
Chapter 8. Protect rocky outcrops
Chapter 9. Manage feral animals and overabundant native species
Chapter 10. Planning work to improve the natural assets on a farm
Appendix A: Plant lists for farm dam revegetation
Appendix B: Plant lists for supporting pollinators on farms
David B. Lindenmayer is a world-leading expert in forest and woodland ecology and resource management, conservation science and biodiversity conservation. He currently runs five large-scale, long-term research programs in south-eastern Australia, primarily associated with developing ways to conserve biodiversity in farmland, wood production forests, plantations and reserves. He has maintained some of the largest, long-term research programs in Australia, with some running for more than 37 years. He is among the world's most highly cited ecological researchers and has received numerous awards for his work.
Suzannah M. Macbeth is a writer with a background in conservation, communications and the creative arts. She manages communications and engagement for the Sustainable Farms project, based in Canberra. She has worked in rangelands conservation, campaigning and advocacy, digital media and in the university sector. Suzannah grew up by the ocean in Western Australia and has strong roots in farming landscapes in East Gippsland, Victoria. She acknowledges and pays her respects to the Nyoongar, Gunaikurnai and Ngunnawal Traditional Owners of the lands she calls home.
David G. Smith is a research ecologist with the Conservation and Landscape Ecology Group at The Australian National University, working on the Sustainable Farms project. David manages biodiversity monitoring projects in the Western Murray region of NSW and north-east Victoria. David's research background includes extensive work with reptiles, mammals and birds across Australia, and he has a particular interest in avian biology and ecology. David contributes to several projects outside of the woodlands, including bird and mammal research in Victoria's central highlands and mammal reintroductions and broader biodiversity monitoring and research in Booderee National Park.
Michelle L. Young is Sustainable Farms' Project Director and is a social scientist who has worked on a range of research and evaluation projects in agriculture, the environment and public health. Her experience includes undertaking the evaluation of the social and economic impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, and supply chain studies looking at grain storage and kangaroo meat. Michelle also led several studies documenting the effectiveness of health promotion interventions in a range of settings, including maternal health, mental health and accident prevention.