A Farm Environment Plan (FEP) is a tool to help you recognise environmental risks on your farm and set out a plan to manage those risks. A FEP allows farmers to focus on the management areas which matter to their farm, and identify environmental improvements which can also help improve the bottom line.
Good Management Practice
Good environmental practice is also good farm practice as this not only reduces the impact your farm has on the environment, but maximises the value of the resources you are using. Good Management Practice (GMP) has been defined by a number of industry groups and has been accepted by Environment Canterbury in the Industry Agreed Good Management Practices Booklet.
The key conditions of the BCI consent are:
- All shareholders must complete a FEP
- All shareholder FEPs must be audited
- A whole scheme nitrogen loss limit, as estimated by OVERSEER
- Keep all records to be available upon request
Part 1: Your Information
Part 1 of the FEP is for us to record all necessary information relating to your farm operation . To complete Part 1, you will need to have the following information available:
- Contact details of yourself, your leasee, farm managers and/or advisors who helped prepare your FEP
- Legal descriptions of all properties managed under FEP
- Effective, irrigated, dryland areas
- Land use, including stock numbers by month
- Copies of all ECan Resource Consents
- Irrigation by type, area and land use
- Average annual rainfall and irrigation data
- Soil moisture trigger and target levels
- Latest nutrient budget(s)
- Copy of FEP (if completed with another organisation)
- Farm Map
Part 2: Risk ID and Management
Part 2 of your FEP is to identify the environmental risks on your property and look at what you can do to improve your farm management practices. Part 2 is where you create a plan to improve your practices by using “Actions”.
To complete Part 2 of your FEP you will need to have the following information available:
- ID Land Management Units (LMUs)
- Copies of existing management plans for property (e.g. Effluent Management Plans or Riparian Management Plans)
- Copies of any Ashburton DC stockwater compliance reports
Land Management Units (LMUs)
Land Management Units (LMUs) are where you divide your farm into similarly managed areas so you can identify risks and target improvements. Your LMUs will generally be split according to irrigation type, where effluent areas, soil type and land use.
Typically year on year, if the farm is in a steady state, the LMUs will remain the same or similar. If need help with LMUs please get in contact with an Irrigo team member.
Why have an Action?
An Action shows how you are planning to meet GMP in the future. The actions are prescribed by you, and should have a realistic timeframe to achieve GMP. The actions, as well as your current practises will be assessed in your audit.
Types of Actions:
In-progress/New Actions: These are actions that you have identified to help the farm practices achieve GMP. Make sure the actions have realistic timeframes.
Audit Actions: If you have completed an audit, your auditor may have given you some required or recommended actions, these need to be worked into your FEP. The auditor will expect to see evidence of progress on the required actions in your next audit.