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Good management practices

Good management practices form part of your farm environmental management plan. They provide ways to reduce the amount of contaminants lost from your property.

Getting started - what do I need to know?

In order to implement good management practices you’ll need to know:

  • How contaminants move - called ‘transport pathways’
  • What physiographic zone you’re in
  • Whether your part of the zone is classed as a ‘variant’

Transport pathways – how do contaminants move?

Firstly, what are contaminants?

  • Nutrients – specifically, nitrogen and phosphorus
  • Sediment
  • Microbes

There are four key transport pathways through which contaminants travel:

  • Overland flow (runoff)
  • Deep drainage of either nitrogen or phosphorus (leaching to groundwater)
  • Artificial drainage (such as tile drains and mole pipe drainage)
  • Lateral drainage of phosphorus and microbes (movement horizontally through the soil profile)

Transport pathways and physiographic zones

Yes the two are linked!

Zones differ in the way contaminants build up and move through the soil, through areas of groundwater, and into our rivers and streams.

Key transport pathways for contaminants differ for each physiographic zone. For example in Old Mataura it’s deep drainage, and in Alpine it’s overland flow.

What zone am I in?

Physiographic zones and variants impact what good management practices you’ll include as part of your farm environmental management plan.

View our physiographic zones map to find out your zone.

Variants are shown as lighter and darker shades of their physiographic zone colour. For example, Lignite/Marine Terraces is purple, the (a) variant is lighter purple, and the (o) variant is darker purple.

Find out more about Variants.

Know your pathways

Use the table below to find out the main transport pathways for your zone and/or variant:

For more tailored advice, get in touch with one of our land sustainability team and ask about a Focus Activity Farm Plan.

Mitigation options

See the factsheets below for mitigations options specific for each key transport pathway.

Incorporate this information into your good management practices.