Farm management plans are required for all farms in the Central Plains Water Limited (CPWL) scheme and CPWL advisers will help farmers with the formulation of these plans. Included in these plans will be establishing a nutrient management regime for each farm that complies with the nutrient criteria for the Selwyn Waihora Zone.
These plans are subject to an annual audit, which will be carried out by an independent assessor. Any non-compliance must be rectified within a specified period of time. If not rectified, the supply of water to the offending user will be turned off.

The key aims of the farm management plans are:

  • To minimise the loss of nitrate-nitrogen to soil drainage water and to minimise any loss of sediment, phosphorus or nitrogen to surface waters
  • To establish an annual nutrient budget

In addition, the farm management plan will ensure:

  • Stock is excluded from waterways and wetlands including drains and races
  • All native plants and native animals and their habitats are protected
  • Water application effectiveness is maximised
  • All irrigation systems meet industry and scheme standards

CPWL has been working with consultants to review the farm management plan template that was included in the consent. The template has been updated to include lessons learned from other Schemes. There has been no material change to the information that the farmer is required to provide as set out in the CPWL consent. The next step is to review this template with a focus group – farmer board members, key shareholder farmers, irrigation industry representatives and farm advisors to establish if further adjustments are required. CPWL are about to commence the public process to establish the Community Liaison Group. One of the first jobs for this group will be to review and comment on the Farm management template.

The farm management plan will be rolled out to Stage 1 farmer shareholders early 2014, training workshops to assist farmers with the preparation of their farm management plans and on-site checking/auditing will be conducted. The success of the farm management plan is dependent on the accuracy of the preparation and implementation/record keeping and reporting.

CPWL are committed to ensuring that all farmers have the support they require to achieve successful implementation of their farm management plan.