Demand is strong for an award-winning tool for developing riparian management plans for farms.
In the boundary between land and rivers or streams, riparian habitat is essential for native wildlife and plants, and helps mitigate land-use impacts on water quality. Developed by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and DairyNZ, and recently recognised with an Outstanding Contribution Award by the New Zealand Association of Resource Management, the DairyNZ Riparian Planner takes the guesswork out of building a riparian management plan. So far 194 rural professionals have been trained to use it, over 653 landowners are registered to use it, and 777 plans have been created.
The planner combines DairyNZ’s practical and scientific knowledge of on-farm riparian solutions with Manaaki Whenua’s experience in creating automated guidance tools. Manaaki Whenua’s Nick Spencer describes how easy it is to use the planner.
‘Farmers simply enter in their milk supply number to locate their farm on the map and then highlight their property boundary. They can then use the tool to draw the various waterways they want to work on. It allows farmers to build up a picture of the total task ahead and to spread their efforts and budgets over a number of years. The aim is to match what is ideal for water quality benefits to a timescale that is economical for dairy farmers.’