If you’ve bought rural land with the aim of operating an agricultural business, you need to understand the conditions and climate of the land you’re buying.
Australian land is hugely varied, with some areas supporting crops better than cattle and vice versa. Before you set out on the long journey to survey the rolling acres yourself, you need to ensure the ground you’re standing on has what you need to get your business off the ground. Read on to discover the key resources that’ll show you whether the land you’re interested in will be able to support your goals.
The success or failure of your new business venture will largely depend on the quality of your soil. Contributed to by some of Australia’s most prominent soil scientists, Soil Quality is a website that provides you with an overview of the physical, chemical and biological features of your soil, including pH levels, nitrogen stock and clay content.
On top of this, a nationwide map known as the Soil and Landscape Grid has been produced by CSIRO, which gives you an in-depth look into the soil characteristics across the country.
Water comes from a variety of sources, but the most prominent is rainfall. You can work out the annual rainfall in your area by visiting the Bureau of Meteorology, which will calculate the extremes of weather, as well as a seasonal breakdown of your area’s rainfall.
Bear in mind that if your target land is in a highly seasonal area, you’ll need to source other water supplies. Groundwater makes up for over 30% of Australia’s water consumption and can be found within the cracks and pores of rocks. However, not all groundwater is fit for human or animal consumption.
If the land has groundwater, it should be disclosed under the selling features. Look for details of dams, bores and reservoirs and speak with the current landowner to better understand the quality of the water. You can also contact the state government to get general groundwater information.
Regardless of whether you’re rearing cattle or growing crops, you’ll need to know the temperature of your region. To find this out, you can head back to the Bureau of Meteorology. Take a look at historical highs and lows as well as temperatures in recent years to give you an idea of what to expect and plan around heat waves and bouts of frost.
From weeds to rodents, pests are a rural reality you’ll need to come to accept. Your state’s agricultural department will be able to paint a picture of any invasive pests and weeds you might have to deal with in your area, as well as how you can control them. If you know how to handle them before they develop a foothold, management isn’t usually difficult.