Establish agricultural crops


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to establish agricultural crops.

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures, work health and safety and biosecurity legislation and codes, and sustainability practices.

Operating machinery carries risk and candidates should observe all enterprise and manufacturer’s requirements.

This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for own work including limited responsibility for the work of others. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources and complete routine activities.

No occupational licensing, legislative or certification requirements are known to apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Prepare machinery and equipment for use

1.1 Select and prepare appropriate machinery and equipment for the work plan

1.2 Attached and calibrate equipment appropriately

1.3 Identify work health and safety hazards in crop establishment, assess risks and implement controls in line with enterprise policies

2. Prepare for agricultural crop establishment

2.1 Monitor soil and weather conditions

2.2 Follow soil conservation and sustainable land management practices and procedures

2.3 Confirm soil test results and identify appropriate soil amendments

2.4 Confirm seeding, fertiliser, and pest and weed control requirements against the work plan and prepare appropriately

2.5 Prepare contingency plans for unusual seasonal conditions

3. Sow the crop

3.1 Implement work health and safety controls for crop establishment

3.2 Follow the work plan to conduct seeding and fertiliser applications

3.3 Apply technology to ensure most efficient performance of operations

3.4 Coordinate pest and weed control treatment with seeding and fertiliser applications as required

3.5 Identify environmental implications associated with sowing operations, assess impacts and implement appropriate procedures

4. Complete seeding operations

4.1 Maintain seeding, machinery and equipment operation records appropriately

4.2 Report machinery and equipment damage, malfunctions or irregular performance appropriately

4.3 Clean, secure and store machinery and equipment in line with manufacturer specifications and enterprise requirements

4.4 Apply enterprise biosecurity policies

Evidence of Performance

The candidate must be assessed on their ability to integrate and apply the performance requirements of this unit in a workplace setting. Performance must be demonstrated consistently over time and in a suitable range of contexts.

The candidate must provide evidence that they can:

identify hazards and implement safe operating procedures

sow seed and apply fertiliser at the required placement and rate

identify types of weeds and insects harmful to crop establishment

perform pre-operational and safety checks, servicing and maintenance on machinery and equipment

calibrate, operate machinery and attach/detach equipment

demonstrate emergency operating procedures in normal and adverse conditions

recognise and report machinery damage, faults or malfunctions and perform minor repairs

demonstrate safe, environmentally responsible and sustainable land management practices

monitor and minimise impacts to the environment associated with sowing operations

correct use of technology to improve efficiency

read and interpret manufacturer specifications, work and maintenance plans, and MSDS

obtain relevant licences and permits

clean, secure and store machinery and equipment

record and report equipment faults, workplace hazards and accidents

assess and calculate the application of fertiliser/pesticide requirements and application rates

calibrate equipment and calculate volumes, consumption and servicing requirements

prepare and service machinery and equipment

carry out tillage and apply pre-planting treatments

carry out sowing operation and fertiliser application

monitor the environmental impacts of establishing the crop

clean, secure and store machinery and equipment

keep records of the sowing operation

follow enterprise work health and safety policies in the context of own work

follow sustainability practices in the context of own work

follow enterprise biosecurity policies in the context of own work.

Evidence of Knowledge

The candidate must demonstrate knowledge of:

crop types, preparation of seeds, seeding methods and application techniques

fertiliser types, rates of application and crop nutrient requirements

effects of weather conditions (normal and adverse) on seeding and fertilising applications

operating principles and operating methods for machinery and equipment

pre-operational and safety checks, servicing and maintenance procedures for seeding machinery and equipment

principles of weight distribution with regard to load shifting and vehicle movement

role of technology in improving efficiency

sustainable land management and soil conservation techniques

positive environmental practices, negative environmental impacts and minimisation measures associated with seeding operations

procedures for cleaning, securing and storing machinery, equipment and materials

enterprise policies with regard to seeding operations, and recording and reporting routines

relevant state/territory legislation, regulations and codes of practice with regard to workplace health and safety and the use and control of pesticides and fertilizers

Personal Protective Equipment and when and how it should be used

relevant state/territory legislation and regulations with regard to licensing requirements and the use and control of machinery and equipment

enterprise biosecurity and sustainability policies.

Assessment Conditions

Competency is to be assessed in the workplace or simulated environment that accurately reflects performance in a real workplace setting.

Assessors must satisfy current standards for RTOs.

Foundation Skills

Foundation Skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range Statement


Broad acre cropping (BAC)