Land and Water Management Plan drafting tools for the Farming Management System framework
During the development of the Sugar FMS program it became apparent that Queensland Government requirements for Land and Water Management Plans were becoming an increasingly significant business concern for many cane growers. The LWMP reporting requirements constitute a sub-set of a broader range of issues that are being addressed within the FMS program. Furthermore, the image based mapping and reporting functionality of the AgrePRECISE system that will be accessible to every grower that participates in the FMS training program also provides a convenient platform for LWMP reporting. By including additional drafting tools within the existing AgrePRECISE system, two quite different, though complementary, outcomes in relation to LWMP and FMS review, mapping, ongoing monitoring, best practice assessment, reporting and documentation can be achieved in a cost-effective manner using the one convenient and interactive computer based information systems platform. This web-based facility enables canegrowers to enter personal data once, to edit and maintain its currency, to link with a wide array of other data - including imagery, map overlays and biophysical histories - and to generate and readily obtain multiple outcomes from that information. The first priority of this project was to determine what additional data and functionality was required to facilitate rapid drafting of enterprise specific LWMPs as one outcome of an overarching FMS program. Additional land and water related issues were identified for attention through supplementary questions within the FMS Review Questionnaire. A unique ranking, rating and coding scheme was used to transform and store responses in a convenient database environment for subsequent analysis and preparation of management plans using an automated LWMP reporting template. A wide array of primary topographic maps and cadastral data was incorporated into the mapping tool. Negotiations with Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines (QDNRM) over access to more expensive imagery, terrain related and other biophysical data are well advanced. Additional functionality was incorporated into the image display and mapping tool to enable canegrowers to locate and digitise field boundaries and a wide range of point, line and area based features as separate overlays. A standard scheme of unique symbols enables users to annotate a predetermined set of map themes. A generic database has been developed to store geo-linked attributes and farm records in relation to mapped features. The flexibility of this records management system will continue to be improved to accommodate a wide range of crops and agricultural pursuits. Particular attention has been given to preserving links between issue specific fact sheets, ancillary material and responses to review questionnaires as a basis for automated production of reports, plans and associated map outputs. Geo-referenced imagery, land parcel cadastral boundaries, topographic map features and biophysical data provide a basis for automated compilation and printing of up-to-date maps through a user-friendly interface without having to source or acquire imagery, ancillary map data or technically demanding GIS software.