A simple tool for extending agronomic management on a landscape basis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context: This short communication responds to calls for greater input from agronomists into landscape research as a means of contributing to managing the positive and negative effects of farming systems. This was recognised in New South Wales, Australia in relation to the management of soil acidity in landscapes of variable topography. Objective: The response was the development of a structured course (Landscan) aimed at educating land managers to match land use with landscape capability. The course characteristics are briefly presented in terms of reading, measuring and interpreting landscape features, understanding degradation processes, assessing available management tools and prioritising actions to balance production, profit and sustainability. Method: The main features of the course content and mode of delivery are detailed including evaluation of participants in regards to increased knowledge, skills and potential changes in practice. Results: Over 1000 land managers have completed the course with most indicating that they will alter priorities, change strategies and adjust goals as a result and 97 % indicated they would recommend the workshops to others. The Landscan framework also provides a means for researchers to incorporate their results for rapid uptake as well as identifying research gaps. The course has been used to deliver integrated group outcomes in areas of soil health, biodiversity, water quality and weed management. Conclusion: The framework addresses the issue of greater involvement of agronomists in landscape research and has successfully initiated dialogue with other disciplines. While the emphasis to date has been on livestock production in variable landscapes the model should be applicable in other farming systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalLandscape Ecology
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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