Agri Magic farm environment plan template approved

Environment Canterbury today confirmed that Agri Magic’s farm environment plan template meets the requirements of the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan (LWRP).

Under the LWRP, all farms requiring a land use consent to farm must produce an environmental plan to support it. Environment Canterbury Chief Executive Bill Bayfield said the Agri Magic template met the criteria of Schedule 7 of the LWRP, as modified by the Nutrient Management and Waitaki Plan Change (Plan Change 5), yet to be made operative.

“Like the Farm Environment Plan Assessment Group, I was impressed with the explanation provided setting out how the template could be used as part of a package helping Agri Magic clients navigate through and comply with their environmental obligations,” Mr Bayfield said. “The template is comprehensive and focused on making sure clients are clear on risks and priorities for action.”

Agri Magic Director Charlotte Glass said the template was developed to help farmers identify the great things they already do and identify areas where they could improve. “Then we support them to develop practical, long-term, on-farm solutions,” she said.

“We guide them to focus on practical changes that will result in resource use efficiency first, and then look at different practices and technology that will be right for them.”

The Land & Water Regional Plan is a primary delivery mechanism of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

“It is reassuring to see in the Agri Magic template a methodology that will enable updating of plans and to identify and address actual and potential environmental effects and risks,” Mr Bayfield said.

“We encourage all farmers to prepare farm environment plans, regardless of whether they’re needed by regulation. International markets are increasingly demanding proven sustainability, and farm environment plans are one way to demonstrate this.”

Under Schedule 7 of the LWRP, FEPs can be prepared either by landowners themselves using guidance in the LWRP or via industry-prepared templates and guidance material.

A minimum content is required, and all FEPs must include an assessment of the risks associated with the farming activities and how those risks will be managed. This includes irrigation, application of nutrients, management of effluent, stock exclusion from waterways, offal pits and farm rubbish pits. FEPs must be audited at regular intervals by Environment Canterbury-approved auditors.

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