fbpx
Print this page
Tuesday, 16 February 2021 07:55

Zooming in on FEPs

Written by  Peter Burke
Chris Anderson Chris Anderson

More than 400 people participated in a day long real and virtual workshop last week on farm environment plans (FEP’s) organised by Massey University’s Farmed Landscapes Research Centre (FLRC).

Normally the FLRC workshop runs over three days, but this year because of Covid, the organisers decided to go with a one day event with a single theme – FEP’s. About fifty participants came to the workshop at Massey’s Palmerston North campus while more than 350, including several speakers joined in via zoom.

FEP’s are a tool that has been developed to help farmers recognise on-farm environmental risks and set out a programme to manage those risks. The FEP is unique to an individual farm and the level of complexity of the plan depends on the farm system.

Professor Chris Anderson who heads up the research centre says FEP’s are a huge issue now with big problems such as water and soil quality uppermost in farmers’ minds. He says there is a strong association between dairying and FEP’s because dairy is quite visible. He says the FEP’s are becoming a major tool for dealing with environmental issues. Speakers and participants at the workshop included scientists from Massey, CRIs, regional councils, farm consultants and fertiliser reps.

Anderson says it was great having more than 400 people wanting to know more about these plans.

“We got to a larger audience than we usually do and picked up people who don’t normally come to these workshops. For example we had professionals in the legal space and banks that don’t normally engage with us. The event went well and we quickly overcame the odd technical hitch and we will get better over time. We are confident that what we are doing is working well and the scope is to do it more often,” he says.

Anderson says as the demand for more FEP’s grows, Massey University through his research group has a big role to play in thought leadership and promoting discussion to solve some of the challenges.

“As a research organisation we don’t want to take sides. We are not involved in accreditation or auditing of the plans but we are involved in discussion, training and good science that will underpin the plans,” he says.

More like this

Farm Environment Plan course proves attractive

Massey University is leading the carge to train rural professionals to help farmers to produce Farm Environment Plans (FEPs). It is running a series of courses ranging from introductory through to an advanced course. Peter Burke caught up with the participants at the advanced course at Massey recently.

Overseer helps with FEP

Southland based farm consultant Allison McDonald reckons using OverseerFM is a big help in developing Farm Environment Plans (FEPs).

National

Sensitive cows

Dairy cows with no access to outside pasture may have damaged emotional wellbeing.

Good mentors key to success

Rachel Foy's interest in dairying started when, as a 12-year-old, she started relief milking during her school holidays.

Machinery & Products

New telemetry solution

Part of the AGCO stable, Fendt, is introducing Fendt Connect – a new generation telemetry solution for Australian and New…

Case plugs into the future

CNH Industrial has announced that it has completed a minority investment in Monarch Tractor, a US-based agricultural technology company, who…

New trailer lighting

Designed for boat trailers, but probably very useful for anyone using a trailer in conditions exposed to the elements, the…