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CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
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Unique risks managed by planning
PLANNING: Farmers need to create individual nutrient plans to comply with new Environment Canterbury rules.
By GERRALD PIDDOCK
Canterbury farmers are being
urged to create a farm nutrient
plan before they become compul-
sory under Environment Canter-
bury's Land and Water Plan.
The nutrient plan will become a
key part of a farmer's compliance
strategy and will be used to help
farmers meet environmental
Farmers heard what creating a
nutrient plan entailed at seminars
in Leeston, Hinds, Amberley, and
Hororata this month, which were
organised by IrrigationNZ.
The key parts of any plan are
environmental responsibility and
sustainability. They are built
around the management of soils,
irrigation, nutrients, effluent,
biodiversity and ecosystems, Irrig-
ationNZ project manager Paul
They should also be flexible
enough to be tailor-made for each
individual farm. The management
options within the plan should be
aimed at the unique risks on
Formalise it, write it down and
when someone comes and asks for
it, you can produce it and you can
justify your actions,'' Reese said.
He said the organisation would
be using the Morven-Glenavy irri-
gation scheme's plan as a tem-
plate for its 3600 members.
The plan should also take into
account different soil types to
reflect their different water-
Farmers need to have the plans
in place before the regional coun-
cil requests an audit.
The plan could include sched-
ules for irrigation on a day-to-day
and seasonal basis.
Farmers would also have to be
more proactive in scheduling their
irrigation correctly. He urged the
farmers in the room to take notice
of weather forecasts and plan
their irrigation accordingly.
It was hoped each plan would be
computer or web-based rather
than a paper-based system.
Dairy farmer Jenny Corbett
said she had gone through the
process of completing a plan and it
was not as intimidating or time-
consuming as many farmers ima-
gined it to be.
It sounds more scary than it
actually is and the point is that
you're doing it most of the time,''
Greens congratulate primary industry as figures
show reduction in total energy and fossil fuel use
The primary industry sector has
made significant energy efficien-
cies alongside growth -- and is
being congratulated for its efforts
by the Green Party.
The latest Statistics New Zea-
land survey for 2011 showed the
sector decreased its total energy
use and fossil fuel use by one per-
cent over that period.
Coupled with GDP data, it
means the primary industry sec-
tor has improved its energy
efficiency by over 7 per cent in the
three years to 2011, using 7.2 per
cent less energy for every dollar of
GDP output, said Green Party
energy spokesperson Gareth
The survey showed overall
energy use by the primary sector
was almost 35,000 terajoules (TJ)
in 2011, and one-third of busi-
nesses had energy saving techno-
The total energy used in the
sector equates to enough diesel to
make 2 million trips from Cape
Reinga to Bluff in a medium-sized
While this sounds like a lot,
the primary sector actually uses a
relatively small proportion of New
Zealand's total energy.
It makes up less than 10 per
cent of total business energy use,''
energy statistics manager Hamish
Agriculture, the biggest indus-
try in this sector, uses almost half
the total energy with diesel and
electricity the main energy types,
the survey revealed.
Diesel is integral to our pro-
duction of timber, livestock and
crops. This contrasts with the
industrial and trade sector, which
is more reliant on natural gas and
other energy types, such as coal,''
Mr Hill said.
The results were a clear sign
that protecting the environment
and enhancing the economy were
not contradictory goals, Mr
Primary sector businesses are
to be congratulated for proving
that energy efficiencies can save
both money and the environment
without hurting their bottom
line,'' said Mr Hughes.
In the survey, 65 per cent of
primary sector businesses said
that reducing energy costs was a
high or medium priority.
This highlights the need for
government policy that supports
energy efficient transport by rail
and sea, rather than wasting bil-
lions on uneconomic motorways.''
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