Welcome to Tocal's e-farm. On these pages you will find an enormous amount of information about how we manage Tocal.
Tocal is a 2200 hectare farm located in the lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. The property contains a range of natural ecosystems, from rainforest remnants and wetlands to dry sclerophyll forests. The main farm enterprises are beef cattle, dairying, horse breeding, and free range egg production, with a small demonstration sheep flock and some cropping (details).
The e-farm is an ongoing project. When completed it will be a detailed resource with information on the management of the property including the property plan, livestock, flora and fauna, history and cultural aspects, indigenous and European land management of Tocal.
Currently information is available on:
Property management considers information on three levels; property level information which influences operation of the whole property, landscape level information when management decisions are made irrespective of paddock fence lines but usually within the property boundary, and paddock level information when management decisions are made within the paddock fence lines. Sound management of Tocal considers information at each of these levels and while investigating the e-farm you will find yourself jumping between these levels. The distinction is made to highlight the role each of these plays in the overall planning process.
It is important to note that while Tocal is operated by NSW Department of Primary Industries, it is operated as close to a commercial basis as possible. So the property planning issues represented here and the information required to deal with them are the sorts of issues faced by all farmers.
Areas to be added in the future include natural resources and vegetation, access to water and flooding, land capability, farm risk assessment, Tocal environmental management system (EMS), infrastructure, cultural heritage and indigenous sites.
Some other sites that contain information relevant to the e-farm include:
- Information about caring for your rural property is available in the publication 'Put yourself in the picture' available online or for sale from Tocal College.
- The CB Alexander Foundation website provides some interpretation of the Tocal Homestead site as well as information on the history of Tocal including the history of land grants and purchases
- The NSW DPI - Agriculture website provides a wealth of information on agriculture in New South Wales. The booklet Striking the Balance which tells the story of how one family set about making a landscape productive while restoring the natural ecosystem of an old dairy farm is available as a free download.
- The National Agricultural Monitoring System website contains a range of climatic and production information for over 600 regions throughout Australia.