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Farm Environment Plan audits

Date: 28 July 2021
Reporting Frequency: Annually
Category: Water and Land


Farm Environment Plan (FEP) audits show good management practices are being achieved.


Ninety-three percent of FEPs audited in 2019-20 achieved an A or B audit grade.


An A grade means the farm is compliant and achieving GMP, while a B grade means the farm is compliant and on track to achieve GMP by the next audit, due to take place two years later.

The programme is on-track to ensure that by this year all farms that are part of an irrigation scheme have at least one audit and by 2024 all individual farms have been audited at least once.

About this goal

In the 2019-20 year, there were 21 certified FEP auditors operating in Canterbury, who completed 1097 FEP audits.

Why does it matter?

Achieving on-farm good management practices is key to meeting nitrogen loss limits and mitigating other environmental risks, as well as maintaining and improving freshwater quality across Canterbury.

What's being done?

Environment Canterbury collects the grade for each audit (see below "What we found") but does not receive each audit report. 

By 2020: all farms that are part of a collective or an irrigation scheme will have been audited at least once to assess whether they are achieving the good management practice requirements in their Farm Environment Plan.

By 2024: all individual farms will have obtained land use consents to farm and will have had at least one audit of their Farm Environment Plan.

Farms receiving an A grade for their FEP audit will be on a three-year audit cycle; farms that receive a B, C or D grade will receive more frequent compliance follow-ups (see below "What do the FEP Audit grades mean"). 

What we found

What do the FEP Audit grades mean

Farm Environment Plan audit grades guide

Find out more

Find out about FEP audit requirements.

Read the latest Farming to limits and Farm Environment Plan audits report (PDF File, 215.24KB).

Visit Farmers' hub for more information for farmers.

Find out how ratepayer funding supports this work with our Rates Tool.


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