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Good Farming Practice

Good Management Practice is used by leading farmers and land managers to improve production, performance and sustainable land use, and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council encourages its use.

What is Good Farming Practice?

This describes when farm management practices are based on sound production methods and improved performance, while reducing the impact that farming activity has on the environment. This is sometimes also called Industry Good Practice (IGP).

This can involve technology (such as precision agriculture), a change to a farming system, or simply adapting the way existing farm management practices are carried out. 

Good farming practice also evolves with changes in science and technology and increased understanding of the environment; what was good management practices 10 years ago may now be out of date. 

One of the main reasons for doing a Farm Plan is to recognise where good management practices are currently in place on farm, and identifying where you could adopt extra ones to reduce risks to water quality from your farming operation.

National Good Farming Principles

This list of principles comes from the ‘Good Farming Practice Action Plan for Water Quality 2018’ which is based on the 2015 Industry-Agreed Good Management Practices Relating to Water Quality.

This list was developed with farmer-driven involvement from Dairy NZ, Deer Industry New Zealand, NZ Pork, Beef+LambNZ, Horticulture NZ and the Foundation for Arable Research, with funding also provided by central government and a number of regional councils.  While first applied in Canterbury, they were developed to be applicable across all regions of New Zealand.  Some minor updates were included following input from the Land Water Partnership, and the Regional Council Land Managers’ Group.

Each region is narrowing these principles to meet their own priorities, based on the most pressing water quality issues in the region/catchments and the causes, the range of solutions and likely impacts of practice change.

Tukituki Catchment

The Tukituki Plan requires Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to work with primary sectors to define good management practices particularly suited to the catchment.  For more information go to Tukituki pages.

Cross Industry Guide

Environment Canterbury (Canterbury Regional Council) has compiled a useful guide and list of industry-agreed good management practices relevant across New Zealand, and largely consistent across industries. The council worked with agricultural industry groups (dairy, outdoor pigs, deer, sheep and beef, arable and horticulture), research agencies and farmers to compile this list. 

Sector Specific Guides

Many primary sector organisations have invested a lot of time and money developing sector specific guidance about good management practice. This may help you to think about and discuss your farm plan with your chosen FEMP provider.


Watch our Boots & Utes video to see best practice and how you can take the right biosecurity steps for going onto rural properties! Remember - Clean On Clean Off!  



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