Farm Environment Plans (FEP) are a tried and tested way for farmers to organise their thinking about how to manage environmental risks on farm. They are also a key part of the proposed plan change and all commercial vegetable growers and properties over 20ha in size will generally require an FEP.
An FEP is tailored to each property and will identify risk areas on-farm and how landowners will manage and reduce these contaminants within a specific timeframe. For more information about FEPs and the types of risks and mitigations they will include, please see our FAQs.
It's a good idea to get started on your FEP now to give you enough time before the deadlines.
The example FEP template may also help you understand what types of information the council expects to see in your plan. The templates are evolving based on feedback we are receiving from landowners and rural professionals who are trialling them. This means the template may be revised over time. Subscribe to receive our newsletter (external link)for updates on the project, and to be alerted to template and guideline changes.
FEPs will need to be signed off by a Certified Farm Environment Planner (CFEP) in the future, but it's a good idea to get started on the template yourself to save time and money. Farm Environment Plans may also be submitted through a Certified Industry Scheme.
Farm Menus can be used in conjunction with the template and were created by industry leaders to provide a choice of farm practices that can improve nutrient management and reduce impacts on water quality. Visit Farm Menus for more ideas about how to improve water quality.(external link)
Over the next couple years, workshops will be held by various industry groups around the catchments to help you prepare your FEP. At these workshops you can talk with experts, farm advisors, other farmers and WRC to get some ideas about reducing risk on-farm, answer questions and get a head start on your plan.
Workshops will be posted on our Events page, or talk with your industry rep to see if they're holding workshops in your area.
Deadlines for when FEPs are due vary by sub-catchment. Sub-catchments in the Waikato and Waipā River catchments are prioritised based on the size of the gap between current water quality and where water quality needs to be in 80 years.
|Priority 1 sub-catchments||1 March 2022|
|Priority 2 sub-catchments||1 March 2025|
|Priority 3 sub-catchments||1 July 2026|
You can find a map of the sub-catchments here [PDF, 8.5 MB].