Matt Ward, B+LNZ’s General Manager, North Island, says this Farm Plan builds on LEP’s by incorporating biodiversity, freshwater health and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and management.
“It takes a natural capital approach so that farmers are in a better position to understand and realise the capability of their land.”
He says it will be a working document that will help farmers get ahead of some of the regulatory and compliance requirements coming from changing national regulations. Being a dynamic document, it can be fine-tuned to meet the specific conditions of the farm and its catchment.
Matt says B+LNZ started working on the LEP refresh in 2017 as it recognised the benefits of taking a more holistic approach to environmental management than the traditional LEP’s offered.
“There are a lot of benefits of understanding a farm’s natural capital and farming to the best of the land’s capability.”
It will also give farmers an understanding of what their GHG number is and mitigation options to reduce that. This will in turn help the agricultural sector meet the GHG emission targets identified through He Waka Eke Noa.
“Farmers will know their GHG number and by understanding their emission profile and adjusting accordingly, it will ultimately benefit the whole farm system.”
The refresh has also worked closely with RMPP and the New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme to help ensure that there is alignment.
“It will be an easy way for farmers to tell their own unique story to consumers and verify to markets that their produce is grown sustainably.”
Matt stresses that B+LNZ’s Farm Plan is a dynamic document with active action plans. Ongoing support from B+LNZ will help ensure its implementation is meeting the goals of the individual farm business and the environment.
The Farm Plan is being road tested by farming groups to ensure it is fit for purpose before being launched later this year.