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Federated Farmers on ECan’s Land & Water Regional Plan

10 December 2013

Federated Farmers on ECan’s Land & Water Regional Plan

Federated Farmers knows farming practices need to evolve in order to minimise Nitrogen loss from Canterbury farms.

“The Land and Water Regional Plan has to comply with the National Policy Statement (NPS) on freshwater which introduces limits and national bottom lines,” says Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson.

“Meeting compulsory national bottom lines for nitrates on much of the Canterbury plains, is going to be very difficult without a major shift in how we farm, especially on the lighter soils.

“Right now, Federated Farmers is working as part of a wider partnership with all others in the primary industries to represent a common position to Environment Canterbury (ECan).

“We wish to make the Land & Water Regional Plan as workable as we can possibly get it, whilst giving farmers clarity as to what is required of them, so that there is some certainty for future investment.

“The key thing for farmers and indeed all primary land users is to start populating the nutrient management tool, Overseer, despite its inadequacies.

“It is about building data tailored to your farm type and your soil profile as this will give you the only way to understand what your nutrient loss profile likely is.

“The only heads that need to be in the sand are the ones looking for their nutrient leakage.

“We are dealing with some fixed dates where regulatory expectations are going to increase. The Plan flags that these will likely impact high nutrient loss farm types in the first instance.

“The Plan does propose an easier regime for those involved with irrigation schemes and given the big proportion of land outside of irrigation schemes, this is something that needs further discussion,” Mr Mackenzie concluded.


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