The conversion planning process is broken into three stages.
The initial information gathering stage
This is very early in the conversion process when the due diligence is occurring. The types of relevant information include:
a. the district and regional council requirements,
b. dairy company requirements and
c. any others which may be of influence such as irrigation schemes.
It is very important to have discussions with all of these organisations very early in the conversion process to ensure your planning sets off down the right path, and potentially save a lot of cost and effort. Approaching these organisations early on and establishing a positive working relationship with them can reap rewards at later stages. read more here
The planning stage
Now is the time to integrate the environmental considerations into the whole farm planning stage such as:
a. creating the farm goals, policies and procedures documents,
b. determining the layout and design of buildings, paddocks, raceways etc.,
c. creating nutrient budgets, effluent, riparian, nutrient management and wintering plans
Integrating environmental planning in the farm planning stage can make the task a whole lot easier, for example using GPS mapping to locate environmental risk areas, exclusion zones and buffer zones on the farm, can be used to inform the farm and effluent system design stage. There are several farm management software tools, and ‘cloud based’ systems which can be used to help achieve regulatory compliance, reporting and generally meeting good management practice aspirations and targets. read more here
Time for action, now the conversion activities such as earthworks, construction and riparian fencing can go ahead with confidence, taking all of the environmental considerations into account. Planning around the climate and seasons where possible, can reduce the impact on surface water quality (i.e. earthworks in the summer). read more here