29 Jun 2016

Fed Farmers launch new sustainability scheme

6:19 pm on 29 June 2016

An initiative aimed at directing farmers towards sustainable use of land and water has been launched by Federated Farmers.

The farming lobby group's president, William Rolleston, announced the establishment of the Land Water Stewardship Initiative at its conference this morning.

Dr Rolleston said the initiative would be a small group that would work together to propose solutions to take the economy and the environment forward and engage with farmers.

The group would be shoulder-tapping people to join from environmental and society groups, he said.

no caption

The Land Water Stewardship Initiative aims to put environmental thinking into farming practices. Photo: 123rf

"We want them to look 10 to 15 years out, if we look at some of the things that we're talking about now in terms of water quality, for example," Dr Rolleston said.

A discussion was needed about whether it was attributes or values that needed to be looked at, as well as how future technologies might change how farmers would operate, he said.

"It's not just a matter of slashing cows numbers or reducing production in cropping, for example, it's about putting in place things like precision agriculture and new techniques that are coming along."

Dr Rolleston said the group of five to 10 people should be formed in the next two months.