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Farm Plans

A Farm Environmental Management Plan (FEMP) summarises the environmental risks on a farming operation and describes how those risks will be managed over time. The Regional Council is dedicated to continuous improvement with farm planning. This page will help you find out more about Farm Plans.

What is a FEMP?

A FEMP is a Farm Environment Management Plan. It summarises the potential risks in a farming operation, and describes how these risks will be managed and reduced over time.

The Tukituki Catchment Plan management approach focuses on reducing contaminants entering surface and ground water.  Your FEMP must be provided by an accredited farm plan provider or through an industry led workshop. All FEMP’s must adhere to Schedule XXII requirements  that can be found on page 34 of the Tukituki Catchment Plan

The FEMP must:

  • adequately identify your farm’s critical source areas (i.e. areas that lose soil and nutrients).
  • determine contaminant loss from the activities on the farm (i.e. stock, fertiliser application and septic tanks), enabling properties with a FEMP to prioritise an environmental action plan. 
  • adequately state the actions for reducing the risk of these nutrient/contaminant losses.
  • set timeframes for undertaking these actions. 
  • include a nutrient budget summary based on a four year rolling average.

Important

Once you have your FEMP it is important to treat it as a ‘living’ document. It needs to be reviewed regularly to make sure it remains relevant to your farm, and you will need to work through the identified actions and implement them

The Tukituki catchment FEMPs are on a three-year review cycle.  That means they are due to be re-submitted to HBRC before 31 May 2021.  This needs to be done more regularly if your farming system undergoes significant change.

The FEMP forms the basis for the ongoing compliance monitoring of your farm, so it’s important it accurately reflects your farming system at all times.

Once your FEMP is done

  • You should get on with the activities in your plan. This includes stock exclusion and N limit requirements by 2020.
  • The Farm Plan will need to updated in 2021 or before if you sell or change your farming system.
  • Make sure your Farm Plan is easily on hand. You may get selected for an audit. Auditing of FEMPs helps ensure that landowners and FEMP providers are identifying environmental risks and appropriate actions.

A FEMP can be completed by the farm owner/manager or an the Regional Council approved provider.

A FEMP must be signed off by a suitably qualified rural professions, i.e. approved providers.  There may be a cost involved.

Farm planning connects the top two priority goals for our region in the Strategic Plan of improving water quality and gaining smart, sustainable land use.  It also supports our priority for a healthy and functioning biodiversity.

More information

Farming in the Tukituki catchment - what you need to know about Resource Consents.

Tukituki catchment

TANK (Tutaekuri, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamū catchments) 

FEMP approved providers

Frequently asked questions

No, you are not required to produce a completely new FEMP.  This is an opportunity for you to check in with your FEMP provider to see if you are on track in progressing through the action items outlined in your original plan.

It is also a time to discuss any changes that have occurred on farm since the time the farm plan was originally produced. For example, you may have bought or sold land or changed your stocking regime.  Or you may have been unable to complete certain tasks and therefore need to reschedule them into a future year of the plan. You will also be required to submit an updated nutrient budget through OverseerFM.

Remember, your FEMP is a living document and needs to be updated as things change.  The Regional Council requires this updated information to perform catchment wide analysis to show how your on-farm efforts are having a positive impact.

In most circumstances the review will involve a farm visit. If your farm system has not changed the review process should be straight forward. The update process should be tailored to the individual property and will vary in duration according to size, complexity, and environmental aspiration of the landowner. 

Your FEMP provider will be looking at your action list progression and if any farm system changes have occurred.  They will also be updating your OVERSEER® nutrient budget.  It is recommended that you discuss all associated costs with your chosen farm plan provider to design a solution that works for you.

Farmer benefits include increased efficiency of nutrient cycling within the production system and reduces the environmental footprint.  Provide a multi-layered approach to land management including soils, water, carbon cycling & GHG foot-printing, and provide for farm forestry decision making.  Identify restoration projects and opportunities to increase on-farm biodiversity.

Ultimately the farm plan will provide a level of sustainability and will save you money.  The FEMP is a long-term asset for your property. 

All FEMPs must be either created or updated by an ‘Accredited farm plan provider’.  If you have an industry workshop plan you will need to engage an Accredited farm plan provider to complete your update. 

Approved FEMP providers

 

Any of HBRCs list of ‘Accredited Providers’.. They have passed a FEMP Accreditation process with the Council, and all have experience creating and updating Tukituki FEMPs

Apart from the three-year review cycle, the Tukituki Catchment Farm plan updates can be triggered by three scenarios.

The 3-year review cycle:

31 May 2021       31 May 2024       31 May 2027

Or,

Farm system change

Have you undertaken a significant farm system change which significantly changes your overall farm inputs and outputs? E.g. dry stock farmer to intensive finishing or cropping?  The changes made to the management of the property would require a new OVERSEER® nutrient budget and new set of environmental objectives to match the new operation/system.

Purchase of a new property

If you purchase a property in the Tukituki catchment with an existing farm plan and you plan to continue with the current practices, then we need to know of the new ownership and contact details.

If you purchase the property and plan to make changes to the current system you will need to get the FEMP updated by an accredited farm plan provider and obtain a new OVERSEER® nutrient budget.  The FEMP must remain current to the farming operation. It is also advisable to discuss the proposed change with the Regional Council before instigating the new changes, as they may trigger some resource consent requirements.

Land use consents

Although Resource Consents are issued in the name of an individual, partnership, Trust or company, land use resource consents are tied to the land and cannot be transferred to a different location.

When a property sells, any associated land use consent for production land use, must be transferred to the new owner of the land. The new owners can either adopt the existing farm plan or produce a new one to reflect the proposed farming system for the property.

This may require a change to the resource consent conditions and should be discussed with the regional council prior to any changes being implemented.”

Tukituki Map

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