What is a Farm Plan?

A farm plan is a tool that is developed by your local conservation district and you, to help you manage the resources on your land.

The plan contains an inventory of your farm or property and outlines actions and a schedule for you to make improvements based on your goals for the property. Once you decide that you want a farm plan, the Conservation District planner will evaluate your property’s inherent resources such as; soil, water, animals, plants and air quality. You will also receive an aerial photo showing soils, field layout, water sources, and other features.

The farm plan is tailored to your operation and your land will list these types of items:

  • farm size
  • soil types
  • slope of the land
  • proximity to streams or water bodies
  • type and number of livestock and crops
  • your goals and timeline
  • available resources (machinery, buildings, etc)

Next, we will address potential water quality concerns and suggest changes in management and potential Best Management Practices(BMP’s) that, once installed, would help alleviate impacts to resources on the property.

Possible examples can include:

  • streamside fencing
  • pasture renovation and/or management
  • weed control and
  • manure management

The District planner may offer advice on what grasses to plant, fence layout, and soil amendments to use. The suggestions made by the Conservation District are reviewed by the landowner and together they develop a plan for accomplishing the changes. Once decisions are made, a tentative implementation schedule is set and the plan written. Engineering, surveying, and cost-share needs will also be evaluated at this time. One copy of the plan is kept with the farmer and one is kept on record with the Conservation District. Revisions of the plan can be made as the goals and needs of the landowner change.

An important point to remember is - you don’t have to be a commercial operation to have a farm plan developed for you – the District works with all sorts and sizes of farms and rural properties, from backyard horse owners to dairy and beef operations!

Questions?

Contact 425-335-5634 or farmplanner(at)snohomishcd.org.