Fonterra aim: FEPs for all suppliers

A Farm Environment Plan includes a review of waterways and biodiversity. Photo: Allied Press Files
A Farm Environment Plan includes a review of waterways and biodiversity. Photo: Allied Press Files
Fonterra wants to see all its farm suppliers with a Farm Environment Plan by 2025 and as at the end of its financial year (July 31), 14% of its Otago and Southland suppliers have one.

Nationally, 23% of its farms have a FEP as part of good management practices.

Fonterra sustainable dairy manager for Otago and Southland Cain Duncan said the co-operative's six sustainable dairy advisers had been going out to local suppliers' farms when requested to run the FEP programme.

``We have a couple of months' waiting list,'' Mr Duncan said.

``This is our third season for doing FEPs and this season we are in line to do about 150 in the region, which will take it to about 30% of shareholders.''

He said Environment Southland would be making FEPs a requirement for consents for dairy farming in the region, once the appeal process around its Water and Land Plan was completed.

The FEP programme includes a geographic information system (GIS), which maps features, hills, waterways etc, and then extracts the data, sends it to a template and the software creates a FEP specific to the farm.

Mr Duncan said the programme included photos, waterways, biodiversity, a nutrient overview and budget, land and soil mapping, infrastructure, effluent and water use, and effluent storage calculations.

``We have delivered quite a few of those and by and large the feedback has been really positive.

``From our point of view we have not had to go out to sell to farmers, as it has been driven by the farmers themselves.''

The service if provided by another consultant, normally costs about $7500, but if done by a Fonterra adviser, is free to its shareholders.

He said FEP, combined with good farming practices, was a useful tool to improve water quality.

Beef farmers would also require an FEP from 2021 as part of good farming practice.


Environment plans

Farm Environment Plans are a tool for documenting and managing environmental risks on farm.

The plans assess environmental effects and risks and provide tailored strategies to help farmers.

Farm Environment Plans include:

  • A nutrient overview (includes nitrogen and phosphorus management)
  • Review of waterways and biodiversity
  • GIS mapping of land and soil
  • Review infrastructure storage and waste
  • Effluent overview, and water use
  • Nutrient budgets, farm maps and effluent storage calculations

Fonterra's GIS mapping software can map a farm and display a range of information.

The GIS software can map farms down to nitrogen management block level, display a farm's waterways, crossings, critical risk points and more.

Maps are made available for farmers and can support consent applications.

-Copy supplied by Fonterra

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