Farmers responsible for meeting new water quality limits
Environment Canterbury today began a detailed region-wide farming campaign, reminding farmers of their responsibility to meet water quality limits and to help them find out whether they will need a consent to farm this year.
Requirements under the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan place responsibility on farmers to operate within water quality limits. As a result, farmers may now need to apply for a land use consent to farm.
Environment Canterbury Chair David Bedford said around 10,000 farms across the region need to determine whether they require consent this year.
“Water is important to us all and in Canterbury, limits are now in place to protect it. We need to achieve a balance to both, meet environmental needs and support our regional economy” he said.
“Many farmers are already aware of these requirements. For now, we are contacting farmers who have more than 50 hectares of irrigated land, because these are the farms most likely to need their land use consent,” Mr Bedford said.
He said there were several steps farmers needing a consent were required to take, and Environment Canterbury and industry bodies were available to help.
“There is a simple process for farmers to follow. Across the region, our online tool ‘NCheck’ is now available to help farmers determine whether they will need a land use consent to farm. For those who do, we’re asking them to start by preparing nutrient budgets, creating a farm environment plan, and then applying for consent.”
While the focus is on the farms with irrigation for now, all farmers need to confirm whether or not they need a land use consent.
“The whole community needs to address water quality issues. Farmers have an important role to play. Environment Canterbury is here to assist, with drop-in sessions, phone and online help, and one-on-one discussions,” Mr Bedford said.
For more information, on the steps farmers will need to take, visit www.canterburywater.farm.