Environment Canterbury today (28/05/2015) welcomed the launch of “Industry Agreed Good Management Practices Relating to Water Quality” by the primary sectors.
Commissioner Tom Lambie, chair of the Matrix of Good Management Governance Group, said the guide represented a milestone in terms of the primary sectors collaborating to help address water quality issues both in Canterbury and throughout New Zealand.
“The Matrix of Good Management project aims to estimate the ‘footprint’ of nitrogen and phosphorus loss for the range of farm systems in Canterbury today, assuming that they are operating at good management practice,” Mr Lambie said.
“This means we need to be clear about what constitutes good management on farms and the guide launched today will go a long way towards achieving that. Good management practice should be the minimum standard for the primary sector. Farm environment plans are central to this.
“Our approach has been to ask the industry partners in the project – DairyNZ, Deer Industry New Zealand, NZPork, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Horticulture NZ and the Foundation for Arable Research – to consult widely within their sectors to define good management practice,” Mr Lambie continued.
“Over the past 18 months, a great deal of hard work by a large number of farmers and growers has culminated in the definitions of good management practice set out in the guide.”
Tom Lambie paid tribute to the commitment of many organisations and individuals in reaching this point. “It would not have been possible to achieve this milestone of industry-agreed, pan-sector good management practice descriptions without the thoughtful contributions, willingness to listen, and sheer determination of many people from both the Canterbury and national farming community,” he said.
For the new guide, go to http://ecan.govt.nz/GET-INVOLVED/MGMPROJECT/Pages/matrix-good-management.aspx
Background – Matrix of Good Management and Good Management Practices
The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management requires councils to set and manage land uses within limits. One of the outcomes of the Land & Water Forum was that the primary sector should be operating at good management practice (GMP). Focusing on nutrient losses rather than inputs is fundamental to managing within limits.
The purpose of the Matrix of Good Management (MGM) project is to produce industry-articulated GMPs and a set of estimates of nitrogen and phosphorus losses from farms across the range of soils, climates and land uses, operating at GMP. MGM outputs will be a table of numbers including factors such as soil, climate and farm systems. Combinations of these factors will generate values for drainage below the root zone and nitrogen and phosphorus losses.
In the guide launched today, the primary industries have articulated their vision of GMP. This information, and current practice information, is being modelled using OVERSEER®.
Farmers can compare their nutrient losses, using OVERSEER®, against MGM values, and their practices against agreed GMPs. Zone committees and local communities can use MGM data to inform/test solutions for their areas. Environment Canterbury can use the information in modelling and testing nutrient loads in any catchment.