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CHAPTER 12

The Plan

 

  FULL Keyline planning, as far as the development of farming and grazingland is concerned, is the logical use of all the methods of Keyline that have beendiscussed in this book.

  Keyline timber clearing cannot be applied on cleared land, but thedesign of Keyline clearing to "leave" timber as strips or belts can beapplied in the growing of timber to aid soil development and for general usefulness.The growing of trees in suitable numbers cannot be attempted at once over all thefarm area, but a tree belt can be grown in two or three years in a paddock that isconveniently closed for cropping. The immense satisfaction from a successfully growntimber strip in the first paddock would certainly induce the farmer to continue theprogramme into other paddocks when convenient.

  Water conservation in Keyline and High Contour dams obviously canonly be employed on farms of suitable land formations. These farms embrace huge areasof the most important land from a national point of view. Not only are these steeperlands capable of tremendous and profitable improvement, but by their effect on allthe lower lands in their common catchment area exert an influence over many morepeople than live on them.

  While Keyline dams and the High Contour dams of the Keyline plan arelimited to properties with their own Keylines, the principle of locating some damshigh on the farm is almost universally applicable and profitable. The design andthe layout of farms should locate as many of the water-shedding areas and buildingsas possible above these dams.

  This would ensure additional water storage. Many of the dams belowthe Keyline will provide water by gravity pressure to operate spray irrigation andstock watering systems.

  It is a principle of the Keyline plan that all land on the farm ismade to absorb all--or nearly all--the rain that falls on it. Surplus rainfall runsoff slowly along the natural flow lines of the land. Water is transferred for storageonly and never to another valley for disposal. Rapid run-off and consequent erosionare fought or offset by the rapid development of fertile absorbent soils. In manyplaces damages from present water runoff are accelerating. The Keyline plan firstretards and then completely prevents the usual erosion of farming and grazing lands.

  Keyline progressive soil development or any other Keyline work, bybeing complete and fully effective in each area on which it is applied, whether onthe small paddocks of a farm or on a large grazing area, requires no outside co-operationor co-ordination.

  It is completely effective as an isolated unit.

  The Keyline plan operating on farms in an area of regional planningis complete in itself. Every farmer, by improving his land, is doing the best thatis possible for the region, but he is still an individual working for his own pleasureand profit.

  General land development is always vitally concerned with water. Whetherthe object is the conservation of water for the production of soil fertility andincreased yields, or whether the aim is the control of water for flood preventionor irrigation schemes, the general subdivision of land into smaller areas and paddocksis best governed by natural watersheds.

  Keyline planning of a large area of land first aims to divide thearea into smaller units or paddocks which are suitable for later economical developmentand farm working.

  A good contour map of the area is of great value in this planning.A map with contour lines at 20-foot vertical intervals is suitable for land containingslopes from gently to steeply undulating. Ten-foot contours are suitable for gentlyundulating areas and 5-foot for flatter slopes. On the flatter country contour intervalsshould be such that at least three contour lines are contained in the large paddockareas. With less than three contours such maps do not display a complete pictureof the land for subdivision and development. Watershed areas both small and largecan be located at a glance. Keylines and Common Keylines are readily found on themap; in fact, the geometry of the contour lines emphasises the Keylines. The steepercountry appears to be narrower proportionately between the contour lines on the mapthan does the country of lesser slopes between its lines.

  These maps enable the planning lines to be located in the approximateposition in which they will be used in Keyline development on the land itself. Keylineareas, Chapter 6, located from these maps, can be readily plotted on the land.

  Good farm contour maps as described are, however, rarely availablenow, but the importance of "planning the work then working the plan" inall matters relating to land development is such that the use of good farm contourmaps should become general practice. It would be of tremendous benefit to the farmerif some service was available to produce farm maps quickly and cheaply. Parish mapsare generally the only ones now available and these, increased to a larger scale,can serve as a basis for the mapping of the areas. Keylines as located on the propertycan be plotted on the parish map and so form a simple and effective farm map.

  The largest suitable land unit for planned development is that containedin the watershed of a river system. Within this large area of land are containedthe numerous smaller watersheds of the creeks and streams which flow to this river.Again, within these smaller watersheds are the lesser watershed areas of all thevalleys which flow into the smallest watercourses. These lesser valleys are the valleysof the Keylines with which we are directly concerned in Keyline development. Singlevalley Keylines and Common Keylines form the lesser subdivision of the Keyline areas(Chapter 6).

  When large land areas are cut up for sale they are usually subdividedalong the lines of existing fences. As the likely fate of all large good land areasis subdivision into smaller farms, the initial subdivision into larger paddocks canbe planned with a view to their later development into separate farms of a satisfactoryliving area. Watershed areas of the large paddock size may be suitable for this purpose.Good subdivision at this time will further enhance the value of the land when ithas been developed.

  On undeveloped land, which is many times the size of the potentialdeveloped living area, one such large paddock can be fenced adequately and Keylinedeveloped to a profitable farm or grazing property.

  Within this area the Keylines are first located. Development thenfollows the pattern of the various aspects of Keyline; timber strips are located;smaller paddocks are determined; buildings and yards, etc are located above the Keyline;irrigation areas are pegged below the effective water pressure level of the Keylinedams and High Contour dams.

  The general picture of Keyline planning in undulating country followsa distinctive pattern. The flatter top country above the Keylines contains all thebuildings, yards and their roads, as well as the numerous smaller paddocks necessaryfor the running of all farms or grazing properties. Tree belts are left in this areaas described in Chapter 8. Immediately below the Keyline are the large paddocks forgrazing and cropping. The lower boundary of this area forms the top boundary of anotherarea of smaller paddocks. These make use of the gravity pressure of the high damsfor irrigation. Timber belts are left on the formula suggested for Keyline clearing.

  On this plan rapid Keyline development of this first area should payfor the progressive development of a large undeveloped area of land.

  The cost of Keyline land development will be lower than the presentdevelopment of such areas, but the actual cost of clearing may be higher becauseof the additional cost of the necessary planning that must precede this clearing.Extra cost over the usual unplanned clearing may be involved by the necessary supervision.

  On land already fenced there is no need to alter the present paddocklayout. As Keyline is generally complete and effective in itself in any area smallor large on which it is applied, special fencing is not necessary. It may be necessaryto dig under a fence in constructing a Keyline water drain to transport water tothe Keyline or other dams.

  The Keylines, which are the basis of this land planning, have beenillustrated throughout this book on simple contour maps. Keylines will usually haveto be located without the aid of maps. When the Keylines of Map 4 are to be locatedon the land illustrated in this map, but without the aid of the map, the Keypointis located in the first valley. This is done by walking down the steeper head ofthe valley to the approximate point of the first main flattening of the slope ofthe valley floor. This is the point at which the valley floor first becomes as flator flatter than the adjacent ridges.

  This point, the Keypoint, is marked by a peg or stake in the centreof the valley. A line of levels, on the longest possible convenient sighting withthe levelling instrument available, is then made to the boundary fence in one directionand through the valleys in the opposite direction. When the line of levels reachesthe second valley it crosses this valley on the approximate Keyline of the secondvalley, and similarly, in the third valley.

  At the fourth valley it would be obvious that the line is well belowthe Keyline of this valley. In this fourth valley a new Keypoint is located and anew Keyline extended to the boundary.

  With this line of pegs as a guide, the location for all the Keylinedam sites is studied. If one dam only is to be constructed, the site in the firstvalley is selected. The reasons for this selection are given in Chapter 7.

  The working Keyline will then be a drain to carry water to this site.The slightly higher position of the Keyline in the second and third valleys, madenecessary by the fall in the Keyline drain from these valleys to the first one, doesnot present any problem. It can be taken as a usual rule that the Keylines tend tofall in the direction of the general fall of the country.

  The actual position of the Keyline drain or other "marker"for the Keyline on the land can always be located or adjusted a little to suit overallcircumstances.

  The Common Keyline of two valleys may be made to serve the purposeof a common Keyline of three valleys by a little adjustment in its location.

  While accurate levels are very necessary, the exact location of theKeyline is not necessary. It is the fact that the aggregate of all the cultivationruns parallel the Keyline and drift down and away from the valley that gives Keylinecultivation its powerful influence.

  Referring to the area above the Keyline, Map 4, it will be seen thatthis land may be developed very rapidly by Keyline absorption fertility to a statewhere greatly reduced run-off water is available to fill the Keyline dams below it.Full use of the run-off water from buildings, yards, road, etc., which would be suitablylocated here, will supply the water to fill the dams. The road alone will shed alarge volume of water.

  The Keyline plan first develops fertility by maximum absorption inall pasture crop and forest land. This development starts in the steeper areas first.The other great aim of the Keyline plan is the conservation and profitable use ofall water that flows to or on the farm. There is, however, no suggestion that largeareas of land should be left undeveloped so as to provide a catchment area in orderto shed water for conservation in dams. The use of this water to develop high yieldson one portion of the farm at the expense of the larger undeveloped catchment areais completely unsound. This is not the way to either full progressive soil developmentor maximum yields and profit.

  Keyline and High Contour dams for water conservation are located inthe best possible sites for the effective and low cost application of the conservedwater. Gravity pressure for spray irrigation and other purposes is much cheaper thanpumped water.

  The other dams mentioned in Chapter 7 are placed as indicated. Thetype of dam to suit the topography is obvious from the discussion in the earlierchapter. The overall aim is again the conservation of all the water that flows toand falls on the property.

  First, conserve all the rainfall that is possible into the soil forthe benefit of all the land and for the production of high fertility. Second, conserveall water that flows from any and all high sources into the highest suitable sitesin the Keyline--High Contour and Guideline dams. Third, provide for other and largestorage capacity in lower sites in the contour dams of Keyline, the lower valleydam and the creek or stream dam.

  From the economic aspect and the working of a farm some water storagemust be provided.

  The retention of more water in the soil by correct cultivation methodswill provide extra profits. These should be used to pay for the capital cost of suitabledams for irrigation. This will provide further profits.

  An overall scheme of maximum water storage can be undertaken on limitedfinance when each new storage in its turn is used to promote soil improvement andmore low cost high yields. Any expenditure incurred in the construction of such ascheme of progressive water storage, including the drains for conserving or conveyingwater, is deductable in arriving at the taxable income of a primary producer forincome tax purposes. Taxation is in this way designed to assist those who will developthe country.

 


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