What is LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management (IFM)?

Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF)
April 2016
All rights reserved.
Applied research
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Resource explained: 

This page of LEAF’s website provides some detail about Integrated Farm Management (IFM), an approach that encourages sustainable farming systems through balancing the needs of consumers, society and the environment. It outlines the different areas that you can address and expect your farm business to improve in through managing it using IFM principles. It describes what IFM can help you deliver on your farm; balancing productive agriculture with minimum negative environmental impacts and encouraging conserving, enhancing and recreating that which is of environmental importance. It outlines IFM in relation to the use of resources on your farm, the key to successful uptake of IFM, and includes a useful LEAF IFM infographic. Additional links explain the benefits of IFM, provide information about Integrated Pest Management (IPM); a core component of IFM, and take you to where you can find further information in the LEAF IFM database (only available to LEAF members).

Findings & recommendations: 
  • LEAF’s definition of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) is “a whole farm business approach that delivers sustainable farming.”
  • The aim of IFM is to integrate beneficial natural processes into the best modern farming practices, conserving and enhancing the environment, by combining appropriate technology and innovations with tried and tested approaches and farmer knowledge and experience.
  • Managing your farm business using IFM principles will allow for continuous improvement across the whole farm and address: organisation and planning, soil management and fertility, crop health and protection, pollution control and by-product management, animal husbandry, energy efficiency, water management, landscape and nature conservation and community engagement.
  • To successfully apply IFM, you need to have a detailed understanding of your farm business, and an innovative and challenging approach.
  • The IFM approach advocates efficient use of resources, smart business planning and use of new technologies.