How to use

Make your way through the relevant topic areas as you walk by them on farm. Answer the yes/no questions to assess whether there is an environmental risk.

Green = no risk. Red = potential risk

If the question is not applicable, leave it red and move on to the next one.

If you would like to put an action in place to address the risk you can select one of the prepopulated actions or create your own...

 will show you more information about the question
 tick the box to add the action to your action plan

Your action plan will save as you work your way through the risks.

When you have completed your action plan you can generate a checklist by selecting

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This will save a snapshot of your action plan as a PDF for you to print or email.

Your PDF snapshots will be saved in ‘My Action Plans’on the side menu.


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My EnviroWalks

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Farm Name

Nutrient budgets and fertiliser use

  • Has your milk company or a certified nutrient management advisor created a nutrient budget for your farm or provided you with any nutrient benchmarking information in the last two years?
        

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  • Do you soil test at least every two years and do the tests represent all the different farm management blocks? E.g. effluent area, irrigation area, heavy soils
        

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  • Do you keep records and maps of all fertiliser applications including nitrogen (product, rate, date, block applied)?
        

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  • Do you keep records to demonstrate that your fertiliser spreading equipment is well maintained and properly calibrated?
        

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  • Are all contractors you use to spread fertiliser Spreadmark accredited?
        

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  • Do you always apply nitrogen fertiliser at appropriate rates and when conditions are suitable for application?
        

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  • Do you apply different rates of fertiliser to your effluent block to account for nutrients (NPKS) in effluent?
        

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  • Do you know the optimum Olsen P levels for your soil types, and do you keep them within this optimum range?
        

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  • Do you apply fertiliser in a manner which ensures fertiliser does not directly enter waterways and drains?
        

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Effluent collection

  • Is all the cowshed effluent on the yards captured and contained without spills and directed to the effluent system?
        

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  • Is effluent captured and contained from all other sources including concreted yard entry and exit points; feed pads; and underpasses?
        

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  • Do you divert rainwater from the dairy shed roof away from the effluent system?
        

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  • If you have a storm water diverter do you have a safety system to prevent diversion occurring when the cows are in the yard?
        

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Effluent storage

  • Do you have enough effluent storage so you can cope with system breakdowns and never have to irrigate when soils are too wet?
        

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  • Is your pond sealed with either a synthetic liner or a properly constructed clay liner, and can you prove it’s not leaking?
        

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  • Are all sand trap cleanings, separated solids, feed pad scrapings and pond cleanings stored on a sealed surface or appropriately spread to land?
        

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  • Is your effluent storage system fenced with safety systems in place including ladders, ropes and signage?
        

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Effluent application

  • When irrigating effluent do you avoid ponding or runoff into waterways at all times?

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  • Do you regularly check the application depth of the effluent irrigator?

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  • Do you have a working failsafe system on your effluent irrigator to stop the effluent pump in case of breakdown?
        

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  • Is your effluent area large enough so you never apply more than 150kgN/ha/yr from effluent?
        

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  • Have staff been trained on how to use the effluent system, fix common issues and what is required to comply with rules/consents?
        

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  • Do you have a system to record the time, location and amount of effluent applied each time?
        

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  • Do you regularly service the effluent irrigator so there are no issues with it e.g. grease, check tyres, unblock nozzles and sealed pipes?
        

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  • Do you spread effluent solids at an appropriate per hectare rate to ensure nutrient loading rules are not exceeded?
        

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Waterways

  • Are stock excluded from all waterways (including drains) on the farm?
        

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  • Are stock excluded from wetlands or critical source areas on the farm?
        

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  • Do you have a written riparian management plan for the entire farm?
        

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  • Are you actively managing any areas of waterway erosion? E.g. by moving fences back, or using erosion control trees
        

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  • Have you left wider riparian zones around waterways on steeper land? (>15⁰)
        

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  • Do you leave rank grass on the banks to act as a filter where you haven't planted?
        

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  • Have you mapped where all the subsurface drains (tiles, novoflow etc.) are on your farm?
        

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  • Are any wetlands managed so that they are not drained and remain wet for the majority of the year?
        

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Lanes and crossings

  • Are measures in place to prevent sediment, effluent and contaminated water entering the waterway or drain at stock crossings? Consider where water flows when it is raining.
        

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  • Is the bridge or culvert sized correctly so water does not overflow?
        

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  • Do all places where stock cross have a bridge or culvert?
        

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  • Are measures in place to prevent sediment, effluent and contaminated water entering the waterway or drain from your lanes? Consider where water flows when it is raining.
        

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Cropping

  • When selecting cropping paddocks do you choose ones that are a low risk for soil loss? E.g. flatter slope, appropriate soil type, furthest from waterways?
        

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  • Do you leave a non cropped buffer zone or vegetative strip between crops and waterways to prevent sediment leaving the paddock from slopes or critical source areas?
        

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  • Do you avoid cultivating or cropping wet areas or critical source areas of your paddock?
        

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  • Do you cultivate horizontally across slopes where practical and safe?
        

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  • Do you utilise a back fence when cows are grazing the crops?
        

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  • If you use portable troughs or bale holders do you regularly move them to prevent them becoming a contaminant hotspot?
        

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  • Do you graze towards waterways and critical source areas?
        

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  • After the crop has been harvested do you utilise a catch crop to ensure the paddock does not lay fallow with an increased risk of soil loss and nitrogen leaching?
        

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Storage and waste management

  • Do you recycle plastics, agrichemicals and agrichemical containers?
        

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  • Do you dispose of dead animals off farm?
        

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  • If you dispose of waste on farm is it in a way that prevents it contaminating ground or surface water?
        

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  • Is all supplementary feed including silage, barley, wheat, PKE etc. stored on a hard sealed surface away from waterways and tile drains?
        

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  • Is there a system to collect all leachate from silage stacks and direct it into the effluent system?
        

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  • Is all fertiliser (excluding lime) when stored on farm contained in a sealed and water tight manner to prevent moisture damage?
        

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Water use on farm

  • Do you have a water meter installed to record water use in the shed, and do you keep water use records?
        

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  • Is there a farm procedure in place to minimise washdown time and water use that may otherwise cause large effluent volumes?
        

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  • Do you recycle cooling water to washdown tanks or stock water?
        

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  • Do you immediately fix leaking taps, hoses, pipes or nozzles at the shed?
        

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  • Do you check the troughs in paddocks are not leaking when bringing the cows in?
        

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  • Do you immediately fix leaking pipes or troughs around the farm?
        

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  • Do you have a system to detect water leaks and a process for dealing with them?
        

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Water irrigation

  • Do you schedule irrigation using either soil moisture monitoring technology or a soil water balance to replace a soil deficit only?
        

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  • Do you monitor all irrigation water use via meters or telemetry?
        

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  • Do you record all irrigation events including when, where, and amount?
        

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  • Have you carried out a bucket test to assess irrigator performance? e.g. amount applied and distribution uniformity
        

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  • Have all staff been trained on how to use the irrigation system, fix common issues, and do they understand what is required to comply with rules/consents?
        

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  • Do you have a regular maintenance routine in place for your irrigation system?
        

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How to use

EnviroWalk


Welcome to EnviroWalk - an assessment tool to help you quickly identify areas of environmental risk on your farm and create actions to move towards good management practice. EnviroWalk is available on the DairyNZ website and as a downloadable app to use without internet connection.

EnviroWalk has been created with input from farmers to be easy to use but also comprehensive. There is extra information available to guide you in answering the questions.

Use EnviroWalk as part of a team or group workshop or solo to assess your farm. You can do as many or as few sections as you need-tailor it to your farming situation.


© 2017 DAIRYNZ & OPTIMISM PROJECTS LIMITED

version 1.0.1

A nutrient budget indicates how nutrients are coming onto your farm and where they are going. It enables you to measure current and predicted nutrient use efficiency and losses. Overseer is sensitive to the accuracy of the input information – using poor or unreliable data will give a poor or less accurate picture of nutrient use and losses. Make sure the information you provide is as accurate as possible.

For more information

Click here

Providing information to your milk company is a requirement under the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord.

For more information on the accord

Click here

For nutrient management advice we recommend you use a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

For more information

Click here

The average dairy farmer spends about $0.45 per kg MS on fertiliser, the best way to monitor that investment is through soil tests.

For more information

Click here

Management blocks reflect areas of your farm with a different soil type or type of management e.g. effluent block, crop block, well drained, heavy soil, receives water irrigation etc

Recording and monitoring your fertiliser applications is essential for assessing whether you are achieving your nutrient management goals and how well the applications are going.

For more templates to record your fertiliser

Click here

Different fertiliser products have different bulk densities and even different lines or batches of the same product can vary in bulk density which will affect the spreading width and volume.

The Spreadmark scheme is a fertiliser placement quality assurance programme. Its objective is to achieve the placement of fertilisers in locations where they can be of the most agricultural benefit and the least environmental harm.

For more information

Click here

The amount of pasture grown in kg DM/ha per kg N/ha applied is the “response rate”. It is dependent on several factors. One of which is Rate of N applied per application – there is a diminishing response at high application rates. Research has shown that application rates above 40kgN/ha give a small increase in kgDM/kgN and at 100kgN/ha responses of only 7kgDM/kgN were measured.

For more information

Click here

The DairyNZ Farm Dairy Effluent Spreading Calculator (app or Excel spreadsheet) allows farmers to easily calculate nutrient loadings and application rates for dairy effluent based on a number of customisable inputs

For more information

Click here

For more information about fertiliser application and best management practices

Click here

The amount of pasture grown in kg DM/ha per kg N/ha applied is the “response rate”. It is dependent on several factors. One of which is Rate of N applied per application – there is a diminishing response at high application rates. Research has shown that application rates above 40kgN/ha give a small increase in kgDM/kgN and at 100kgN/ha responses of only 7kgDM/kgN were measured.

For more information

Click here

The Dairy Effluent Storage Calculator calculates how much storage is needed on your farm.

For more information

Click here

Having enough storage in a well designed and constructed facility will save you time and money.

For more information around effluent storage

Click here

Lined ponds and above ground tanks are the two options available when choosing a sealed effluent storage system for your farm.

For more information about them

Click here

For more information around how to build a storage pond

Click here

For options available to test the sealing layer of your pond

Click here

Pond safety cannot be over emphasised. Ensure your effluent pond is safe.

For more information

Click here

Ponding or runoff of effluent following application to land is a sign the effluent system is not performing.

For information on managing the effluent system to avoid ponding or runoff

Click here

Calibrate your irrigator by measuring the application rate and making any maintenance adjustments required to achieve the desired rate

For help on measuring the application rates and timings or calibrating your irrigator

Click here

The average dairy cow produces about $25 worth of nutrients annually as farm dairy effluent (FDE). For a 400 cow dairy herd this represents about $10,000 of nutrients annually. If these FDE nutrients are used effectively then this significantly reduces the fertiliser bill.

For more information see the Nutrient value of effluent Farmfact

Click here

There are a range of training courses offered by different organisations, most are targeted for effluent service industry however farmers have attended as well.

For more information

Click here

or to visit PrimaryITO

Click here

DairyNZ offers an effluent irrigator runsheet template

Click here to download

For more information around calibrating your irrigator

Click here

Spreading effluent solids requires specialist machinery which is suited to the type of effluent being spread.

For information about effluent solids spreading methods, considerations, and equipment

Click here

Fencing waterways protects freshwater from nutrients, effluent and sediment by excluding stock and creating a buffer between water and the land.

For more information

Click here

Excluding stock from waterways and significant wetlands is a requirement under the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord and can also be a regional council requirement.

For more information on the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord and the level of progress made by the dairy industry

Click here

Fencing wetlands protects them from nutrients, effluent and sediment by excluding stock and creating a buffer between water and the land. It also prevents stock trampling on plants and compacting the soil.

For more information about wetland protection

Click here

Critical source areas (CSA’s) are small, low lying parts of farms such as gullies and swales where runoff accumulates in high concentration.

For more information on CSA’s

Click here

Creating a map and riparian management plan for your farm to fence, plant and protect waterways can be achieved with the DairyNZ Riparian Planner. Or can be done by your milk supply company.

For more information on riparian plans

Click here

To view a planting guide specific to your region with tailored planting advice to help you get the best value for every dollar spent

Click here

Preventing stream bank erosion protects productive farm land from being lost and decreases the amount of soil and phosphorous entering waterways.

For more information on waterway erosion

Click here

Protecting, restoring and creating wetlands on-farm can reduce nutrient losses, decrease the impact of floods and provide a valuable habitat for native plants and animals.

For more information on wetlands

Click here

Well planned and constructed crossings prevent damage to the stream bed and reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients and bacteria getting into waterways.

For more information around crossings

Click here

The type of crossing constructed is dependent on waterway size and shape, high flow levels and the types of vehicles that need to cross.

For information around what to build and culvert sizes

Click here

Well planned and constructed crossings prevent damage to the stream bed and reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients and bacteria getting into waterways.

For more information around crossings

Click here

Maintaining good tracks involves having a proactive program that ensures drainage is effective and surfaces are kept in top condition.

For more information

Click here

Critical source areas are those parts of the landscape, such as swales and gullies, where overland flow and seepage converges to form small channels of running water, which may then flow to streams and rivers. Temporary or ephemeral streams are also considered critical source areas.

For more information about managing them

Click here

Critical source areas are those parts of the landscape, such as swales and gullies, where overland flow and seepage converges to form small channels of running water, which may then flow to streams and rivers. Temporary or ephemeral streams are critical source areas. For more information about managing them

Click here

The guide “Wintering on crops in the South Island” provides solutions to minimise the environmental impacts of wintering and includes tips on managing the following: Paddock selection, Overland flow, Cultivation, Strategic crop grazing. It is relevant to cropping throughout New Zealand.

To download the guide

Click here

The practice of grazing crops towards waterways and critical source areas is termed strategic grazing. Undertaking strategic grazing techniques can reduce losses of sediment and phosphorus (P) by 80-90%.

For more information about strategic grazing methods

Click here

For more information about the use of catch crops

Click here

Recycling, collection and safe disposal services are a responsible way to deal with farm waste – reducing the negative effects on the environment and health risks for both people and animals.

For more information

Click here

Recycling, collection and safe disposal services are a responsible way to deal with farm waste – reducing the negative effects on the environment and health risks for both people and animals.

For more information

Click here

Recycling, collection and safe disposal services are a responsible way to deal with farm waste – reducing the negative effects on the environment and health risks for both people and animals.

For more information

Click here

Well placed supplementary feed storage areas can save money through reduced spoilage, fuel use and travelling time.

A good design will help to reduce surface or rainwater entering and creating toxic runoff.

For more information

Click here

Well placed supplementary feed storage areas can save money through reduced spoilage, fuel use and travelling time.

A good design will help to reduce surface or rainwater entering and creating toxic runoff.

For more information

Click here

Well placed supplementary feed storage areas can save money through reduced spoilage, fuel use and travelling time.

A good design will help to reduce surface or rainwater entering and creating toxic runoff.

For more information

Click here

Water meters are the most effective way to monitor water use. They can detect small leaks and losses and are an effective way to track seasonal and annual consumption.

For more information about meters including recording sheet templates

Click here

For more information on how to review your water use to identify where there's potential for greater efficiency

Click here

For more information on how to review your water use to identify where there's potential for greater efficiency

Click here

For more information on how to review your water use to identify where there's potential for greater efficiency

Click here

For more information on how to review your water use to identify where there's potential for greater efficiency

Click here

For more information on how to review your water use to identify where there's potential for greater efficiency

Click here

For more information on how to review your water use to identify where there's potential for greater efficiency

Click here

When irrigating, the objective is to apply water when the plant needs it, to maximise plant growth and avoid overfilling the soil, which wastes water.

For more information on the best time to irrigate

Click here

Water meters are the most effective way to monitor water use. They can detect small leaks and losses and are an effective way to track seasonal and annual consumption.

For more information on water meters

Click here

The Irrigation Depth Testing Calculator enables farmers who undertake the 'bucket test' from the DIY Irrigation Evaluation Guide to enter their data and have the average application depth, application rate, and distribution uniformity calculated for them.

To download the calculator

Click here

The DairyNZ Guide to Good Irrigation was developed to help dairy farmers fine-tune their irrigation and assist with daily operation. Part 1 is for farm staff and managers operating irrigation systems on a daily basis.

To download it

Click here

Irrigation New Zealand runs a series of training courses including irrigation fundamentals which target new entrants to the industry.

For more information

Click here

To download a farmer workbook for checking the performance of spray irrigation systems

Click here

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