8 Jun 2021

Government group releases farm planning guide

5:59 pm on 8 June 2021

The government has released a framework for its farming planning system which it hopes will streamline compliance and cut costs for farmers and growers.

Male farmer with laptop in field, closeup

Photo: 123RF

The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide released today was put together by the Integrated Farm Planning Steering Group, which comprises senior representatives from farming industry organisations, councils, Māori agribusiness representatives and the government.

The guide provides advice to farmers for how they can organise their business operations.

The integrated farm planning approach is about bringing together all the various areas - such as climate change, freshwater, animal welfare, biosecurity, and people management - that a farmer or grower should consider for their farming operation, the guide states.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said the guide would help those in the industry to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning.

"I'm conscious of the good planning practice that is already happening within our various sectors and I think this framework reflects that," he said.

However, some farmers still needed some support and guidance, with new farm planning requirements for freshwater and climate change coming down the line, he said.

"This guide is the first step - putting in place baselines to help people combine and improve their existing farm planning, so that they are ready for the change that is coming."

The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide draws from existing planning programmes in the agriculture and horticulture sectors as well as current regulatory frameworks for the likes of health and safety.

The government has set aside $37 million over the next four years to make farm planning less time consuming, O'Connor said.

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