Farm dairy assessments.
|Percentage of farms with effluent infrastructure capable of 365-day compliance||78%||75%||82%|
|Percentage of farms referred to SDAs with major or critical non-compliances||4.20%||3.40%||3.20%|
Evaluating farm performance - farm dairy assessments.
Over the past five years, our farmers have made significant investments in environmental improvements on their farms. This reflects their recognition of the cumulative effects of some farming practices on our waterways. These investments have come ahead of regional councils setting environmental limits for water on behalf of their communities and, in some places, before the land and water science for specific catchments was clear.
Now that limit-setting processes are underway in some regions, new land and water science are becoming available and farmers are getting certainty around what standards have to be met to achieve healthy freshwater, and under what time frames.
Farm Environment Plans (FEPs) help farmers meet these new limits. This year we piloted a new FEP service in collaboration with Waikato Federated Farmers to help farmers prepare for the proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change.
A farmer’s FEP is unique to their farm. It includes a farm map and photographs of critical locations around the farm. FEPs identify areas of existing strength and priority areas for action; for example, specific changes to reduce sediment, bacteria or nutrients from entering waterways, including groundwater.