Manage agricultural crop production

This unit covers managing agricultural crop production and defines the standard required to: develop a cropping program for an enterprise; plan for crop establishment; monitor growing crops; provide inputs and carry out cultural practices as required; develop a plan for the crop harvest; monitor crop yields and evaluate production performance.


This unit applies to those whose job role includes managing the production of agricultural crop.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Develop agricultural crop establishment program

1.1. Production targets for each crop type are established, consistent with marketing and enterprise objectives.

1.2. Plant varieties are selected that are best suited to soil, climate, seasonal conditions and marketing goals.

1.3. Irrigation schedules, where required, are determined for each soil and crop type based on assessed water requirements, rainfall and evapo-transpiration data.

1.4. Nutrient requirements for crops are assessed to determine appropriate fertiliser program.

1.5. Budgetary constrains are identified and maintained according to enterprise requirements.

1.6. A crop establishment program is developed to meet the production targets and enterprise objectives specified in the crop production plan.

2. Manage crop maintenance

2.1. Strategic grazing may be planned to reduce or eradicate areas of weed infestation.

2.2. Fertiliser applications and rates are determined appropriate to crop type and applied accordingly.

2.3. Crop nutrient requirements are determined to ensure sustainability and achievement of yield.

2.4. Soil moisture is monitored and watering schedule adjusted if appropriate.

2.5. Processes to minimise waste and soil degradation are introduced and implemented according to environmental procedures.

3. Monitor an agricultural crop through to harvest

3.1. Longer term trends in weed, pest and disease incidence are determined, and any necessary changes to control measures are implemented.

3.2. Soil structure and erosion are monitored and necessary changes to cultural practices, grazing management and drainage are determined.

3.3. Irrigation and drainage systems are checked regularly and maintained if appropriate.

3.4. Grazing management is monitored to ensure crop production levels.

3.5. Crop maturity is monitored and harvesting is undertaken to meet marketing and production targets.

4. Record production level and review cropping strategies

4.1. Crop yields are monitored and evaluated against forecast production levels.

4.2. Grazing and cropping programs are evaluated for efficiency and effectiveness, and documented for future best practice.

4.3. Evaluation of production performance is undertaken and documented for use in reviewing and revising management program.

4.4. Physical and financial records of production are maintained for analysis and evaluation of production performance.

Required Skills

Required skills

apply environmental protection strategies in land use

set objectives and milestones for a cropping program

determine soil quality and land use capability

determine crop nutrient requirements and fertiliser requirements

measure and assess quantities of fertiliser to meet plant requirements

predict patterns of weed infestation

design irrigation processes to avoid soil degradation if applicable

assess financial strategies and prepare budgets

use literacy skills to fulfil job roles as required by the organisation. The level of skill may range from reading and understanding documentation to completion of written reports

use oral communication skills/language competence to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification, negotiating solutions and responding to a range of views

use numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record complex workplace measures

use interpersonal skills to work with others and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities.

Required knowledge

land and soil conditions

effects of soil characteristics on nutrient availability

financial analysis techniques

environmental protection strategies

cultivation requirements for different types of crop

safe handling processes for fertilisers

infestation patterns for different types of weed

integrated strategies for the management of pests, weeds and diseases

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislative requirements

environmental legislation and codes of practice, relating to farm production.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy holistically all of the requirements of the performance criteria and required skills and knowledge and include achievement of the following:

develop a cropping program for an enterprise

plan for crop establishment

monitor growing crops, provide inputs and carry out cultural practices as required

develop a plan for the crop harvest

monitor crop yields and evaluate production performance.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Competency requires the application of work practices under work conditions. Selection and use of resources for some worksites may differ due to the regional or enterprise circumstances.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole.

Agricultural crops include:

wheat and coarse grains


grain legumes



temperate and tropical pastures.


Unit sector

Broadacre cropping

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not Applicable