Good Management Practice

Good Management Practice (GMP) has been defined by a number of industry groups and accepted by ECan in the Industry Good Management Practice Guide. The guide provides describes 21 practices which improve irrigation, nutrient and animal management for all common land uses in Canterbury.  A summary is now available in a handy poster.

Barrhill-Chertsey Irrigation expect all existing shareholders to achieve GMP by 2020.

IrrigationArableDairyDairy SupportSheep and BeefOther
Irrigation NZ have been working hard to make sure you have the resources you need to irrigate efficiently. Further information and support is available from IrrigationNZ to become a SMART Irrigator.  Some useful tools they have available are:

Irrigation in a Box: All in one resource for all irrigators

Irrigation System Operation Checklist and Guidance: Essential start of season checklist for all irrigation systems

Irrigation System Calibration: online tool to determine if your system is working as it should. You can also use the PageBloomer IRRIG8Quick to measure the performance of most irrigation systems.

Irrigation NZ also run training workshops aimed at your staff:

Irrigation Operation and Management Training

HortNZ is currently preparing an online guide to Good Management Practice for their members. Other resources they have available include Allocation of Nutrients to Production Land Principles and, for those prone to losing soil to waterways, Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines. HortNZ are also running workshops  for levy payers on best management practices.

Foundation of Arable Research (FAR) recently released their Farm Environment Plan Template for arable farm systems. 

DairyNZ should be your first port of call if you need any support on good management practices within the dairy sector. Your local contact is Megan Hands (027 801 2218),

You can complete the Farm EnviroWalk checklist to see if there are any key areas you need to improve on.

Effluent Management

The Good Effluent Management pages includes information on how to use your travelling irrigator, the Effluent WOF programme, staff training available, and designing effluent storage ponds and spreading systems.

Staff Tools

A useful one page Effluent Management Poster can be sent to you or downloaded. A useful staff guide to managing your effluent is also available. For travelling irrigator systems, I also highly recommend the Top Tips Poster and the Irrigator Run Sheet. These posters are great to keep on the wall of the dairy shed for staff to see what they need to do.

Nutrient Management

Drivers of N loss on dairy farms and what you can do to reduce it is summarised on the Nutrient Management page. I also have work booklets to look at these factors on your property and identify where you can make improvements. Please feel free to contact me if you would like a copy.

Effluent Storage

If you are not sure if your effluent pond holds enough storage to get your through wet periods without irrigating, go through the Dairy Effluent Storage Calculator, the Working Effluent Volume Calculator and/or the Application Depth Calculator here.

Odour Management

New ponds can generate a bit of odour when you start using them. For guidance on how to reduce the amount of odour produce, have a look through this page.

Nutrient loss management from Dairy Wintering and Dairy Support systems are a new area of research at the moment.

Foundation of Arable Research (FAR) is currently in the process of collating the latest research on Good Management Practice (GMP) for dairy wintering systems. A general guide, particularly if you have undulating land and/or waterways is available here.  FAR is also running a series of workshops to provide support and guidance on best wintering practices. Keep an eye out for FAR Events for workshops in your area.

DairyNZ have also prepared a guide to selecting the best paddock for wintering on your property and a review of your wintering system 

Beef + Lamb NZ have been working on the Land and Environment Plan Toolkit , which is a one stop shop for everything you need to complete a Farm Environment Plan.

The toolkit includes a guide on how to prepare a farm map, how to identify Land Management Units and the environmental risks on your property and has really useful information on the Good Management Practices which can address those risks.


NZPork have prepared the Good Practice Guide for Nutrient Management and a EnviroPork Manual. NZPork is currently in the process of preparing a ECan-compliant template to assist pork suppliers with preparing a FEP. For more information on good practices, managing nutrient budget requirements and preparing your FEP, please contact Anita Murrell, Environmental Advisor, at