Farm management today is more complex than ever because the ability to produce a viable crop or animal production is no guarantee for success. This course is ideal for farm owners or managers, retail agricultural suppliers or anyone interested in an agricultural career.
Our Certificate of Farm Management will give you insights into strategic planning, how to undertake a viability analysis and craft a viable agricultural business plan. You will also study a range of production, financial, technology and HR strategies, including managing staff, water, soil and machinery, and learn about the relevant legislation and regulations involved.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a farm management course include:
- Learning about strategic planning
- Exploring planning procedures
- Studying policy formulation approach
- Understanding a strategic management approach
- Examining an initial strategy approach
- Gaining insights into farm business structures
- Learning about farm management plans
- Exploring financial terminology and the money market
- Studying rural finance sources and how to find finance
- Understanding financial terminology and record-keeping
- Gaining an understanding of contract law
- Examining the elements of a simple contract
- Gaining insights into offers, acceptance and consideration
- Learning about strategic plans
- Exploring trusts
- Gaining insights into farm planning
- Learning about quality management systems
- Exploring whole farm planning
- Studying how to prepare a business plan
- Understanding integrated production plans
- Examining business assessment
- Gaining insights into business goals
- Learning factors involved in business assessment
- Exploring the factors that affect your business
- Examining how to draw conclusions
- Gaining insights into viability analysis
- Learning about viability analysis
- Studying how to assess profit
- Understanding risk analysis and managing risk
- Examining standards and cost-efficiency
- Exploring the cost of production
- Learning about quality and quantity standards
- Studying how to keep financial records
- Understanding the bookkeeping process
- Examining the end of period accounting
- Gaining insights into cash flow
- Studying an example of a budget
- Learning about sensitivity analysis
- Exploring management strategies
- Understanding how to organise the workplace
- Examining scheduling and production systems
- Gaining insights into system variables
- And much more!
The 10 Biggest ‘Farms’ In Australia
As the sixth-largest country in the world, Australia spans a staggering 770 million hectares. And according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over 62 per cent of that is privately owned. Here are the country’s Top 10 biggest agricultural portfolios as of 2019, which include families that have farmed their land for generations to multinational companies after a bit of Australia’s farm management action!
Organic food enthusiast David Brooke and his family owns and operates several farms in South Australia and Queensland with a combined area of over 3 million hectares. All of their farms and the products produced – including their beef – are certified organic and free of pollutants, chemicals and additional hormones.
One of Australia’s largest beef cattle operations, the McDonalds run over 175,000 head of cattle over 3.36 million hectares in the heart of Queensland. Family owned and operated, they represent six generations of beef producers and have over 190 years of experience in Australian agriculture.
Australia’s largest privately-owned beef producer, the Consolidated Pastoral Company, is majority-owned by Terra Firma Capital Partners a business run by UK investor Guy Hands. It owns and operates nine cattle stations with a carrying capacity of over 300,000 head of cattle over 3.6 million hectares.
The Paraway Pastoral Company is a privately owned operating entity of the Macquarie Group and runs 27 stations across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. The company has the capacity to run over 250,000 sheep and 220,000 cattle as well as a mixture of dryland and irrigated cropping across 4.48 million hectares.
In 2019, the Williams family’s cattle company acquired Anna Creek Station in South Australia to add to the six stations already owned. At 2.36 million hectares, it is the world’s largest working cattle station. The maximum carrying capacity of the seven stations across 4.5 million hectares totals over 36,500 head of cattle, with five of the stations organically credited.
The company acquired Clifton Hills last year — one of the world’s biggest stations at 1.65 million hectares in size. Their portfolio covers four stations of around 30,000 cattle near the South Australian border. The stations — New Crown, Andado, Horseshoe Bend and Lilla Creek — comprise a total of 4.6 million hectares and are managed by members of the Costello family.
Established by patriarch H. P. MacLachlan in Adelaide in 1888, Jumbuck controls 11 properties across 5.7 million hectares in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australian and the Northern Territory. It runs cattle in WA and the NT, and sheep on stations across three of those states, and the company is Australia’s chief wool supplier.
From humble beginnings in 1877, The North Australian Pastoral company has expanded into over 6 million hectares’ worth of farmland and is one of the country’s largest beef producers. It manages over 200,000 cattle across Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Dating back to 1824, the Australian Agricultural Company is the oldest continuously operating company in Australia and the country’s largest integrated cattle and beef producer. British tycoon Joe Lewis is the major shareholder, and the company owns and operates properties in Queensland and the Northern Territory covering over 6.4 million hectares.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart teamed up with China’s Shanghai CRED in 2016 to buy the lion’s share of S. Kidman & Co. —the largest individual private landholding on the planet at over 8 million hectares. With a herd of over 171,000 cattle, the company is one of Australia’s largest beef producers and exports to the USA, Japan and South-East Asia.
Emerging Technologies In Agriculture
For Australian farmers, time is precious, and there is increasing pressure in farm management to maximise productivity and produce more with less. However, farmers are also dealing with increasing overheads and natural disasters like bushfires and floods, all the while trying to minimise the impact on the environment. And that’s where technology comes into play! Here are some of the emerging agricultural technologies according to a report issued by rural industry research group AgriFutures Australia in 2018.
Internet of Things/Sensors
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of entities that are connected wirelessly using sensors. These include humans, plants, animals and infrastructure like buildings and equipment. Although not new to the sector, technology advancements in quality, cost and the robustness of sensors, data analysis and the connectivity of technologies have accelerated the potential of IoT device installations. In fact, it is predicted that their usage by the sector will have increased by over 20% annually by 2022.
Blockchain is essentially a database invented by the creators of cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and it focuses on a shift away from inefficient, costly and centralised record keeping. In the agriculture sector, it is used in conjunction with IoT devices, such as scanners and sensors. This removes the human error component of ledger data entry, and it can help reduce costs, improve food safety control, and create incentives for economically and ecologically beneficial production practices.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Big Data
Big Data refers to data sets that are so complex and large that traditional data-processing applications are inadequate. AI refers to intelligence machines that ‘learn’ from experience by accomplishing specific tasks that require the processing of large amounts of data.
Big Data and AI technologies are playing an increasingly essential role in the sector due to the amount of data being collected on farms via the use of more complex machine sensors. Applications range from thermostats regulating greenhouse air temperatures to complex algorithms that provide growers with recommendations on automated management interventions. With a multitude of sources, AI increases the value of data being collected, analysed and converted, which can help support farm management decision-making.
Nano Materials Data
Nanomaterials are about one billionth of a metre in size and most recently have been used in the environmental science, medical and food processing sectors. Their potential for agriculture lies in detecting pathogens and pesticide/herbicide residue and in improving seed germinations and growth. The ultimate result is increasing crop yields while providing environmental benefits and minimising input costs.
Robotics is the science and technology of movable, mechanical structures that function under some form of autonomous control. Robotic technology can substitute human functioning in order to complete tasks that are deemed too dangerous, repetitive or impossible for humans.
In agriculture, it can be used to complete tasks like harvesting, spraying, surveying and dairy milking, and can help growers increase reliability, efficiency and productivity while minimising environmental impacts.
Satellite technology assists farmers by observing, measuring and responding to intra and inter-field variability. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology has provided huge benefits to the agricultural industry in terms of practices like soil data analytics and yield and topographical mapping.
This allows farmers to access real-time data about their farm operations and make more precise and informed decisions. There is also the potential for satellite technology to measure vegetation health and growth at different stages of a crop’s life. This may increase the lead-time of a crop’s yield which could positively impact supply and price trends.
Keen to analyse, diagnose and make viable management decisions to optimise the success of a farm or agricultural enterprise? Nurture your skills and grow your career with our Certificate of Farm Management!