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Central Hawke’s Bay farmer Sherrie Bird is using Cashmanager RURAL to help record all the information she needs for her Farm Environmental Management Plan, making environmental compliance easy.

Sherrie, who farms a sheep and beef property near Waipukurau, is in the Tukituki catchment.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) requires everyone in that catchment with 4ha or more of productive land to have a Farm Environmental Management Plan (FEMP). If your land is classed as low intensity you need a plan only if your farm is over 10ha.

The FEMP summarises environmental risks that have been identified on the property and explains how those risks will be managed in line with the legal requirements set out in Plan Change 6.

These plans don’t need to be in place until May 31, 2018, but Sherrie wanted to tick the box and ensure she was compliant, so she could move on to other things.

She has been working with Emma Buchanan, of Soter Rural Compliance, to put a plan in place.

Emma specialises in environmental planning for farmers. “The government introduced the National Policy on Statement for Freshwater Management and councils are responsible for putting in place their own systems around freshwater. HBRC has started with the Tukituki catchment,” she says.

Using Cashmanager RURAL Sherrie utilises the Transaction Report, filtering by category, to supply Emma with the information she needs.

For example, she can pull a report that shows all fertiliser applications, supplementary feeding, cultivation or stock numbers – all information that is needed for the plan.

Sherries captures the data by making detailed notes in the notes section when coding transactions.

“From my perspective, with Sherrie making notes like what paddock fertiliser went on, the date, the rate and the method of application, I can get all the information out of Cashmanager RURAL and into Overseer,” Emma says.

Overseer is the tool used to model nitrogen leaching on a farm.

Sherrie attended one-on-one coaching with Cashmanager RURAL to upskill in this area. “I went with a list of things I wanted to know, like how to pull out specific transactions like fertiliser applications, and the things I needed for complying with the plan change.

“For me, the benefit is it’s given me a tool to do it once, do it properly, using Cashmanager RURAL,” she says.

“It helps make it easy to comply. I don’t like duplication, I just want to comply so I can do other things with my time.”

The benefit for Emma is that she knows she’s dealing with accurate records. “That’s very important, especially if you are getting close to your (leaching) limits.

“I need specific paddocks, where it went on – what type of soil and paddock can make a huge difference to the leaching rate.”

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