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Good farm management

TR 2000/16

Report: TR 2000/16

Author: Helen Ritchie

Abstract

This is a summary of the report “Good Farm Management?”, written for Waikato Regional Council to review resource management issues in hill country farmland. The review is not official Environment Waikato policy. It is designed to stimulate discussion about the most appropriate responses to hill country issues.

Hill country farming is a complex and risky business, and MAF surveys indicate that a significant percentage of hill country farms in the King Country are currently not profitable. Hill country land use also affects downstream human use and ecosystems. This review focusses on these issues and their significance for the Waikato Region.

The method for this project included a literature review, consultation with researchers with relevant expertise, and discussions with staff in councils. As such, the views of hill country farmers and other affected parties are not fully represented, but where their interests and perspectives are documented elsewhere, they have been included. Recommendations are aimed primarily at Waikato Regional Council, but on-farm management options are also identified for each issue.

Good Farm Management? [PDF, 181 KB]

Contents
1 Introduction 1
  1.1 Scope Of The Issues Considered In This Review 1
2 Resource Management Issues And Practices To Minimise Effects 1
  2.1 Erosion And Run-off 2
    2.1.1 Defining The Problem Of Erosion And Run-off 2
    2.1.2 Farm Management Practices To Address Erosion And Run-off 4
  2.2 Other Aquatic Habitat Issues 5
    2.2.1 Defining The Problem Of Aquatic Habitat Degradation 5
    2.2.2 Farm Management Practices To Retain And Improve Aquatic Habitat 5
  2.3 Biodiversity On The Land 5
    2.3.1 Defining The Problem Of Biodiversity Decline On The Land 5
    2.3.2 Farm Management Practices To Retain And Improve Biodiversity On Land 6
2.4 Other Issues 6
3 Key Opportunities For Change On Farms 6
4 Constraints On Hill Country Farms 8
  4.1 Implications Of These Constraints For Environment Waikato 8
5 Recommendations For Environment Waikato: Opportunities To Support Change 8
  5.1 Recommendations For Defining Priority Areas 10
  5.2 A General Level Of Support For Hill Country Management 11
  5.3 More Intensive Support For Priority Areas 12
  5.4 Recommendations For Further Monitoring And Research 12
    5.4.1 Understanding The Issues And Threats 12
    5.4.2 Understanding Management Factors And Benefits 12