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Thursday, 3 November 2016

What's next for me?

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So what’s next?

  • Start collecting and gathering all your farm records
  • Phone your Ravensdown Environmental Consultant
  • Map and budget out a timeline to reach council requirements.

First up is to develop your Farm Environmental Management Plan (FEMP) by 31 May 2018. While this may seem like quite a way off, there are many farmers that need to meet this requirement and only a limited pool of approved service providers who can offer the service you need, so time is of the essence.

You can expect our consultants to come and visit you as a first step. During the visit they will walk the farm with you as well as have a comprehensive discussion about how you manage your farm and what your long-term plans are. This information will allow them to identify any environmental risks or areas on your farm where contaminant losses originate, otherwise known as Critical Source Areas (CSA). These will be marked on your farm map and, if necessary, potential mitigations will be discussed with you. These mitigations would be designed to limit the impact of the CSA’s on the receiving environment. If you don’t have them already, soil tests can be taken to get a picture of your farm’s nutrient status, which will be uploaded into Smart Maps that can be set up for you if you wish.

After the visit, your consultant will complete their technical work. This will include modelling your farm in OVERSEER™ and producing the FEMP document. Depending on your farm situation, they will present to you different scenarios or options regarding your nutrient losses which will show a clear pathway forward and provide council with a commitment that you will improve your farms environmental footprint. If your farm requires no mitigations the FEMP document simply becomes a decision tool to provide evidence of good management.

In order for your FEMP to be produced your consultant will need as much information as possible, so we’d recommend you start collating all the data and records you have now. Important data to collect should be from the 2013/14 season forward and should include; stock numbers (movements, production & liveweights), supplements (harvested & imported), crops grown (cash & fodder), fertiliser inputs, and irrigation management. All this data can be stored and managed effectively within SmartMaps.

Once all of the work is complete, the consultant will come back out to talk you through the FEMP. When approved, it can be submitted to council for approval. If there are any further requirements that the council may require, our consultants will assist.

Once these have been met, your Farm Environmental Management Plan will carry the brand integrity and support of Ravensdown; which is worth a lot, evident in the fact that we are a trusted FEMP provider by the council.

Going forward, your Ravensdown Environmental Consultant will be your point of contact for any issues, and you will have the company’s support beyond that. We’re not going anywhere, so you can have confidence that you will have a company to turn to in a time of need. Your consultant will also work in with your agri manager to make sure that their nutrient management advice going forward supports your environmental requirements. This means you won’t trip up unknowingly through a change in your nutrient management plan.

You will get far more than a bit of paper. Ravensdown Environmental Consultants are not about ticking boxes, rather standing behind their work, in support of you and your farm, providing robust FEMP’s that sets you up for the future.

Ravensdown Environmental