“We know there have been questions raised by some around the accuracy and suitability of OverseerFM for certain applications, particularly for regulatory purposes,” says Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+LNZ.
“However, there is no doubt that OverseerFM has been and still is a valuable farm management tool. But as with any tool, there is always room for improvement and we would be supportive of any further investment to strengthen OverseerFM.
“Tools like OverseerFM enable New Zealand’s primary sector to apply an effects-based approach, which we support, rather than an inputs-based approach.
“We believe it’s important that OverseerFM is used appropriately as a farm management tool, not as a precision measurement tool.
“OverseerFM supports farmers to better understand their nutrient requirements and losses, make informed decisions about their farming practices and improve their farming and environmental performance. What the review has identified is that the “Nitrogen” aspects of the model, in particular, need improving.
“We should recognise the other uses of OverseerFM such as one of the tools farmers can employ to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions from feed consumption, which is a useful contribution to farmers measuring and managing their GHG emissions as part of He Waka Eke Noa.
“Farmers can also use OverseerFM to test future scenarios to look at the impact of “what if?” on nutrient losses and GHG emissions.
“In summary, B+LNZ believes OverseerFM is an important tool, but there is room for immediate improvement, and we support the Government’s promised investment to further improve its value.
“In the meantime, it is vital that the over the coming months any decisions the Government, officials and regional councils make in relation to the application and use of OverseerFM work for farmers on the ground and deliver improved environmental outcomes.
“Ultimately, farmers, industry and regional councils are seeking certainty from the Government on the way forward during what is an incredibly challenging time for the sector.”
For more information, please contact B+LNZ’s Katie Jans on email@example.com or 027 838 6353