The sections below outline answers to questions users may have about the portal and its responses. They are broken up into category groups based on the portal functionality to help users more easily find what they are looking for. Click one of the options listed below to go to the category group.
The Farm Portal is designed to calculate a farm’s Nitrogen losses at Good Management Practice (GMP) as defined by industry. Nitrogen losses at GMP can be calculated by using OVERSEER® or by answering some simple question for permitted activities.
It will also determine if the land use is authorised as a permitted activity or if a resource consent is required from Environment Canterbury.Return to Top
The Farm Portal has been developed for all farmers in Canterbury to help you determine if a consent to farm is required and to calculate your Nitrogen Losses at Good Management Practice.
Some farmers will be required under their consent to use the Farm Portal to submit information regarding their farming activity.Return to Top
Yes, each analysis provides the user a Nutrient Loss report containing information about the farm’s nitrogen losses, boundaries, soil, and climate.
When used for official purposes, reports must be kept for at least seven years.Return to Top
You will be asked some questions to determine whether or not you require a land use consent to farm.
If you already hold a land use consent for your farming activity, you will need to provide a copy of the report to your FEP Auditor.Return to Top
You can call customer service on 0800 324 636. Alternatively, you can contact your fertiliser representative, irrigation scheme (if you are part of one) or a farm consultant.
Our website has plenty of zone-specific information relevant to your farm.Return to Top
Baseline GMP Loss Rate means the average nitrogen loss rate below the root zone, as estimated by the Farm Portal, for the farming activity carried out during the nitrogen baseline period, if operated at Good Management Practice.Return to Top
Equivalent Baseline GMP Loss Rate means a nitrogen loss rate, expressed in kg per hectare per annum, for a 48 month consecutive period within the period 01 January 2009 to 31 December 2013, and that has been calculated by applying:
For the purposes of clarity, in the case where a building consent and effluent discharge consent have been granted for a new or upgraded dairy milking shed in the period 01 January 2009 to 31 December 2013, the calculation will be on the basis that the dairy farming activity is operational.Return to Top
GMP Loss Rate means the average nitrogen loss rate below the root zone, as estimated by the Farm Portal, for the farming activity carried out over the most recent four year period, if operated at Good Management Practice.Return to Top
Equivalent Good Management Practice Loss Rate means the average nitrogen loss rate below the root zone, expressed in kg per hectare per annum, for the most recent four year period and that has been calculated by applying:
Nitrogen baseline means:
Nitrogen loss calculation means the discharge of nitrogen below the root zone, as modelled with OVERSEER®, (where the required data is inputted into the model in accordance with OVERSEER® Best Practice Data Input Standards), or an equivalent model approved by the Chief Executive of Environment Canterbury, averaged over the most recent four year period and expressed in kg per hectare per annum. If OVERSEER® is updated, the most recent version is to be used.Return to Top
A permitted activity is an activity that complies with the requirements, conditions and permissions of a regional plan.Return to Top
A Principal Water Supplier is a publicly or privately owned supplier of water which is conveyed and distributed to constituent irrigation schemes, community and/or stockwater schemes, hydro-electricity generators and/or other users of the water.Return to Top
Property means any contiguous area of land, including land separated by a road or river, held in one or more than one ownership that is utilised as a single operating unit, and may include one or more certificates of title.Return to Top
Winter Grazing means the grazing of cattle within the period of 1 May to 30 September, where the cattle are contained for break-feeding of in-situ brassica and root vegetable forage crops or for consuming supplementary feed that has been brought onto the property.Return to Top
Irrigation Scheme means a trust, company, incorporated society or other legal entity that holds a resource consent to take and supply water to more than one property.Return to Top
A resource consent is a formal authorisation for an activity that is not permitted by the relevant rule(s) in a regional plan.Return to Top
Any property larger than 10 hectares that does not require resource consent must have a management plan. The management plan will describe:
You don’t have to submit a copy of your management plan to Environment Canterbury, but you may be asked to provide a copy to show that you have been implementing good practices.
You can find out more about management plans (including templates for specific activities) hereReturn to Top
All data (including farm boundaries, farm status, N-Loss, baseline and GMP for consented activities) will be stored by Environment Canterbury in their internal systems.
All Environment Canterbury data is discoverable unless the data contains personal information or is commercially sensitive. Information relating to OVERSEER® files, Nitrogen Losses and GMP losses for a specific farm are considered commercially sensitive information.Return to Top
The Farm Portal uses OVERSEER® to determine estimates of nitrogen loss rates at good management practice.
Click here for more information about the accuracy of OVERSEER®.Return to Top
The new rules do not take legal effect until they are made operative. Visit your zone page here for full details about your current local nutrient management rules and additional requirements.Return to Top
The nitrogen loss calculation and the Good Management Practice Loss Rates, calculated by the Farm Portal, are based on the average nitrogen losses over the last four years. The rolling average is designed to ‘smooth’ out the influence of extreme events, such as a drought, on the calculation of nitrogen losses.Return to Top
Land can only be modelled on whole land parcels. Create a new farm in the Farm Portal to reflect your new farm boundaries. You will need to re-create your nitrogen baseline.
The land owner is responsible for creating a nutrient budget and the entry of information into the Farm Portal (even if the land is leased).Return to Top
In this case where two farming operations are being carried out on a single land parcel (e.g. where the land parcel is being leased to two different parties) the land owner is responsible for entering information into the Farm Portal. They will need to amalgamate the two farming operations and treat them as one farm and when entering information into the Farm Portal.Return to Top
The Farm Portal has specific requirements for OVERSEER® files that are uploaded into it, primarily related to the soil and climate details for the farm (see below). Before you upload an OVERSEER® file to the portal, you may want to check that it will meet those requirements and work in it. A utility is available on this website for users to upload their OVERSEER files to see if they are valid for use with the Farm Portal. The utility will check if it meets the necessary requirements, and will display any issues or problems that it finds with the file.
Click here to go to the OVERSEER® file checker (or click the Check my OVERSEER® file option in the side panel.
The following are the basic requirements for an OVERSEER® file to be valid for use in the Farm Portal.
Under the proposed new regional nutrient rules to the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan, these two calculations would be modified as follows:
There are several things that you can do:
There may be a difference between your current nitrogen loss calculation and your GMP Loss Rate if you are not implementing industry-agreed GMPs on your farm, or if you are operating beyond GMPReturn to Top
The Industry-Agreed GMPs can be found at here.Return to Top
You can find this information in the Nutrient Loss Report, if you have used the OVERSEER® method.Return to Top
The narrative industry-agreed GMPs were ‘translated’ into a set of ‘modelling proxies’. These modelling proxies are applied to a farmer’s uploaded OVERSEER® nutrient budget to provide an estimate of a farming activity’s nitrogen loss rate when the farm is operated at Good Management Practice. For more information on the modelling proxies refer to Schedule 28 of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional PlanReturn to Top
No. There are some GMPs that are already implicit within the OVERSEER® model, but there are many that aren’t. In addition, OVERSEER® continues to improve to be able to characterise current practice which may be different from GMP.Return to Top
Given the same management practices and soil/climate conditions, your actual leaching losses won’t be changing even though your modelled loss may increase or decrease. As the modelling and underpinning science improves, the estimates of nutrient loss are likely to be getting more accurate with version updates.Return to Top
The catchment matrix and methodology for determining specific farm GMP will update with each version of OVERSEER®.Return to Top
When uploading an OVERSEER® file, the file will be rejected if it does not contain climate details, or the details are incorrect, for each "block" specified in the OVERSEER® file. Default PET and Temp are not valid. Please revise climate input in OVERSEER® and use actual instead of default settings.Return to Top
When uploading an OVERSEER® file, the file will be rejected if it does not contain specific soil information for each "block". It is mandatory to use the “soil moisture values” method for soil description in OVERSEER®. Please revise the soil description in OVERSEER® using the soil moisture values method. The soil description is a key driver of soil nutrient losses, particularly nutrient leaching due to the impact of the Profile Available Water (PAW).Return to Top
When uploading an OVERSEER® file, the file will be rejected if it contains a soil name that is not currently available in Landcare Research's S-map database. Check that you have entered the name correctly in OVERSEER®.Return to Top
An error message that starts with Original Overseer file: Data Error: when uploading an OVERSEER® file means that there was a problem within the OVERSEER® file itself, most often that:
The message itself will generally give an indication of what the problem is with the file.
If this occurs, load the file into the current version of OVERSEER® and re-run the process, ensuring that all of the required information has been completed. You can then attempt to upload the file to the Farm Portal again.Return to Top