Integrated Farm Management

Integrated Farm Management (IFM) is a site-specific farm business approach that uses the best of modern technology and traditional methods. Attention to detail is key; appropriate and efficient use of inputs, smarter approaches to business planning and the adoption of innovations and new technologies, all contribute to increasing productivity whilst protecting valuable resources.

Delivering more sustainable farming through Integrated Farm Management

LEAF delivers sustainable food and farming by developing and promoting Integrated Farm Management (IFM). 

LEAF Demonstration Farms show IFM working in practice

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IFM is made up of nine sections, which together address the entire farm business. Each of the nine sections is interrelated and an understanding of how they work together is essential for the effective implementation of IFM.

Organisation and Planning

Organisation and Planning

Organisation and Planning

Good organisation and planning is key to IFM. As a starting point it is important to identify the short and long term objectives of the farm business, reflecting on the key question of where do I want my business to go?’

70%

Staff on LEAF Marque certified businesses have appropriate awareness of IFM

All 1,013

LEAF Marque certified businesses have a Farm Environmental Policy

Soil Management and Fertility

Soil Management and Fertility

Soil Management and Fertility

Soil is the basis of all agricultural production and the conservation and improvement of this valuable resource must be of the highest priority in the adoption of IFM. This allows produce to be grown on healthy and biologically active soil with an optimum level of organic matter, a good physical structure, chemical balance and sufficient fertility.

33%

LEAF Marque certified businesses recorded Soil Organic Matter %

Crop Health and Protection

Crop Health and Protection

Crop Health and Protection

IFM uses and encourages continual improvement in pest control measures that have minimal impact on the environment and human health and which promote sustainability and profitability. A well established and managed crop will be more competitive with weeds, more resilient to attack from pests and diseases and should require fewer plant protection products.

190,809

Hectares of crop on LEAF Marque certified businesses with a Crop Health and Protection Policy

Pollution Control and By-product Management

Pollution Control and By-product Management

Pollution Control and By-product Management

Well organised pollution control and by-product management will help avoid pollution, save money and plays an important part in protecting water, energy, biodiversity and soil management. In many cases farm 'wastes' are a valuable resource if used appropriately.

35%

LEAF Marque certified businesses used a Carbon Footprint Tool

49%

LEAF Marque certified businesses were carrying out waste management best practice

Animal Husbandry

Animal Husbandry

Animal Husbandry

IFM requires that consideration is given to the way decisions are made on the whole farm. Not only does this include animal welfare, grassland, forage and crop management, but also the attention to detail demanded to ensure sound animal husbandry techniques, environmental responsibility and an economically viable farming business.

596,620

Animals reared to the LEAF Marque Standard

All

LEAF Marque certified businesses with livestock have a Livestock Health Plan

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Energy is often a significant on-farm cost and so requires constant monitoring. Careful use of inputs, appropriate tillage, reduced reliance on fossil fuels and striving for optimum instead of maximum yields will all help improve energy efficiency and contribute towards maximum return in the long run.

2015

385

2016

390

LEAF Marque certified businesses monitored energy consumption

44%

LEAF Marque certified businesses have one or more types of renewable energy generation on-farm

Water Management

Water Management

Water Management

Water is an important resource which has a financial and environmental cost to farm businesses. Better and more effective water management is at the heart of LEAF's approach to IFM. Managing water wisely as well as assessing and enhancing the efficiency of on-farm water use saves money and helps plan for future needs.

419

LEAF Marque certified businesses measured the water efficiency of irrigated crops

Landscape and Nature Conservation

Landscape and Nature Conservation

Landscape and Nature Conservation

Landscape and conservation are becoming increasingly important in agriculture, and it is easy to be daunted by the amount of information available and by the proliferation of schemes, action plans and initiatives. It is important to remember that landscape and wildlife are like any other product of the farm; what is achieved depends on the starting conditions, the capability of the land and the work put in.

13%

Average habitat area on LEAF Marque certified businesses

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

It is essential to communicate what you are doing and why to everybody who works on or around the farm, including the local community. Not only does it help them to better understand farming and the rural environment, but it also addresses their concerns, needs and expectations of the countryside and food production.

53,259

Visitors to LEAF Marque certified businesses

Economic performance

Environmental quality

Social health

Sustainable farming delivers a site-specific farming system supporting the integration of farm economic viability, the environment and society, over the long-term. IFM delivers more sustainable farming by contributing to economic performance, environmental quality and social health. It is also relevant to the fast emerging Natural Capital agenda, which looks to put a monetary value on the goods and services farmers deliver.

IFM is made up of nine sections, which together address the entire farm business. Each of the nine sections is interrelated and an understanding of how they work together is essential for the effective implementation of IFM.

Integrated Farm Management: A guide

Integrated Farm Management: A guide provides an overview and introduction to LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management to LEAF Members.

View overview leaflet

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