Sustainable Natural Landscape (Natural Assets)

This module provides growers with a framework for managing natural assets across the whole farm to achieve better environmental and production outcomes. The module focuses on the non-cropping areas of the farm identifying legislative requirements and recommended best practices for soil, water and biodiversity.

Both Qld and NSW have legal requirements associated with clearing native vegetation, modifying riverine areas and controlling invasive plants and animals. This module provides information and resources regarding this legislation.

Once you have completed this module to as least level 2, you will have achieved the following:

  • Compiled with relevant environmental legislation
  • Maximised groundcover to prevent erosion and improve soil health
  • Stabilised riverbanks and waterways to reduce erosion
  • Maintained water quality
  • Recorded natural features such as riparian areas in farm plans
  • Maintained native vegetation diversity and connectivity
  • Controlled environmental weeds and feral pests on farm (terrestrial and aquatic)
  • Identified sources for carbon sequestration and emissions on farm


Key Area: Sustainable cotton landscapes and communities

Natural resources are identified and recorded

Check List:

Level 2

Natural resources are identified and recorded on a farm map or whole farm plan (e.g. natural resources includes: riparian vegetation, native vegetation, rivers, creeks, wetlands)


Key Area: Good Native Vegetation Management

Maintain and improve the diversity of native plants and animals in the cotton landscapes

Check List:

Level 2

Minimise removal of fallen trees, trees with hollows, rocks and dead standing timber as it provides habitat

Level 3

Habitat condition for biodiversity is improved on farm through re-vegetation techniques (planting vegetation or natural regeneration) that increase the size, connectivity and diversity of native vegetation on farm

Level 3

Assess and monitor the condition of native vegetation on your farm

Carbon sequestration and emissions are considered and managed across the whole farm

Check List:

Level 2

Understand different sources of carbon sequestration and emissions across the whole farm

Maintain Groundcover

Check List:

Level 1

Obtain relevant approval before modifying native groundcover

Level 2

Areas of erosion risk (e.g. uncontrolled sediment and salt movement into waterways) have been assessed

Level 3

Areas of erosion (e.g. saline areas, sodic scalds) are remediated

Maintain or improve native vegetation connectivity in cotton landscapes

Check List:

Level 1

Obtain approvals before removing or modifying native flora and fauna on farm

Level 2

Awareness of corridors, patches and single trees and how they link across the farm

Level 2 Awareness of native vegetation and the impact on integrated pest management
Level 2

Practices are in place to protect remnant native vegetation from negative impacts such as spray drift

Level 3

Maintain or create new native vegetation using revegetation or natural regeneration that connect existing patches of vegetation

Level 3 Maintain or restore natural wetlands and billabongs and enhance artificial ones

Key Area: Riparian Management

Stock Management

Check List:

Level 2

Stock access is managed to minimise bank instability, loss of groundcover, damage to native vegetation and promote regeneration

Level 3

Off stream or purpose built in-stream watering points for stock

Level 3 Exclude stock from natural riverbanks and waterways

Maintaining habitat and vegetation in riparian areas

Check List:

Level 2

Maintaining habitat features in riparian areas for native wildlife (e.g. hollows in trees, large logs, soil cracks)

Level 3

Maintain a range of vegetation structure (groundcover, shrubs, trees) to improve the value of services to the farming business (i.e. IPM, carbon sequestration, salinity mitigation)

Stabilise riverbanks and waterways to reduce erosion

Check List:

Level 1

Obtain technical advice and relevant approvals before commencing any works in-stream or along banks including the removal of materials such as logs and gravel

Level 2

Native vegetation is retained (minimum of 30 metres along top of bank) and protected in riparian areas, natural regeneration is actively promoted

Level 2

Leave native vegetation, logs, woody debris and rocks along banks to provide bank stability


Key Area: Environmental Weeds and Feral Pests

Control environmental weeds and feral pests (terrestrial and aquatic)

Check List:

Level 1 Declared weeds and pests are controlled according to legislative requirements and control activities are undertaken in accordance with environmental protection legislation
Level 2 Action has been taken to manage non-declared environmental weeds and pests
Level 3 Co-ordinated and implemented weed and pest control with neighbours and relevant authorities