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Farm environmental management plans

If you’re a farmer with over 20 hectares of land, you’ll need to prepare a farm environmental management plan as part of any consent application, and under many of the provisions in the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan.

From 1 May 2019 all dairy platforms and any landholding that undertakes intensive winter grazing will need a FEMP. From 1 May 2020 all other landholdings above 20ha will need a FEMP.

Your plan will need to record: physical address, description of the landholding ownership, owner’s contact details, legal description(s) of the landholding and a list of all resource consents and the date of their expiry.

For more information download the handy factsheet on Farm Environmental Management Plans.

Here's a quick checklist to find out which activities require consent: the Farmers' Rough Guide to Environment Southland's Rules.

Q: Who can put a FEMP together?

A Farm Environmental Management Plan can be developed by you if you follow the guidelines in the plan, or you might wish to employ a consultant to complete it for you. You may need to employ a consultant to complete the nutrient budget for you. The land sustainability team at Environment Southland is available to assist with information that is required for the FEMP.

Q: If I already have a Sustainable Milk Plan or a Land Environment Plan, will I need a FEMP?

If your Sustainable Milk Plan or Land Environment Plan is already complete it may need some additional information inserted into it to ensure it meets Council’s requirements.

Q: Who needs an OVERSEER nutrient budget?

Any landholding over 20ha will need an OVERSEER nutrient budget as part of their FEMP.

Q: How often do I need to have an OVERSEER nutrient budget prepared for my landholding?

You will need to have an OVERSEER nutrient budget prepared initially and then for any material change on your property. This could include a change in crop area, crop rotation length, type of crops grown, stocking rate or stock type. The OVERSEER nutrient budget will need to be prepared at the end of the year in which the change occurs. However, you will also need to update this every three years after the change occurs.