Thursday, 26 May 2022

HawkEye eases the way with new reporting requirements


New reporting requirements mean dairy farmers will soon need to inform their regional council of annual nitrogen use.

HawkEye, Ravensdown’s nutrient management software, which helps capture fertiliser activities on farm, enables external reporting to be easily completed, given the farmer’s permission to do so.

HawkEye also helps optimise fertiliser application by providing transparent planning and application information.

What are the rules about?

Two years ago, the government introduced national rules to manage certain aspects of farming through the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Regulations 2020, known as the Freshwater NES. This sets standards for activities such as synthetic nitrogen fertiliser application, intensification, feedlots, stockholding areas and intensive winter grazing.

Restrictions on nitrogen fertilisers were introduced in July 2021. Known as the Nitrogen Cap, or the 190 N Cap, this limits the annual amount of fertiliser nitrogen applied to grazing land:

  • to an average of 190kg N/ha/yr over the whole pastoral land area; and
  • to a maximum of 190kg N/ha/yr to each hectare of land used only as pasture.

This allows application of more fertiliser nitrogen to annual forage crops, though applying more than 190kg/ha/yr must be offset elsewhere on-farm to meet an overall average of that quantity. In some instances, including when land is used for cut and carry, nitrogen fertiliser applications do not count within the nitrogen cap.

Additional requirement for 2022 and beyond

As the dairy farming year ends, a new nitrogen cap reporting requirement comes into force. By 31 July 2022 all dairy farmers must provide their regional council with nitrogen-based fertiliser information for the production year to 30 June 2022. Each regional council requires the same information from farmers, showing they have met the nitrogen cap. This now becomes an annual requirement.

Widespread Collaboration

To assist farmers to meet these nitrogen cap requirements, including fertiliser recording, calculations, and reporting, Ravensdown has developed additional tools within HawkEye.

Working in collaboration with the 16 Regional Councils, plus industry stakeholders such as DairyNZ, Ministry for the Environment, Federated Farmers, and dairy cooperatives, Ravensdown has developed reporting tools for the company’s customers that will enable time efficient, accurate reporting of nitrogen use on-farm.

The Ravensdown solution

In the event you don’t have automated GPS spread records flowing into HawkEye, you can manually add activities to complete your fertiliser usage report. Relevant nitrogen-based purchase data and product-based reporting are all included within HawkEye, enabling the preparation of a fit for purpose report.

Consents – alternatives available when legislation cannot be met

For those unable to meet the nitrogen cap, either the average or the maximum, a resource consent is required. Ravensdown’s in-house environmental consultancy team includes several qualified and experienced planners able to provide advice, as well as preparing and lodging resource consent applications.

Our consultants liaise with regional councils over the level of information required for any non-compliance. For example, if the average has been exceeded by a few additional kilograms then rather than seeking a retrospective resource consent, your Ravensdown consultant would advocate for an alternative approach to demonstrate how compliance would be achieved.

Agronomy plan ordering and monitoring

Talk to your Ravensdown Agri Manager about designing an Agronomy Plan for your farm, taking even greater advantage of HawkEye’s nutrient monitoring and reporting tools. HawkEye enables map-based ordering, which ensures accurate tonnages are purchased and when coupled with the spread location and a GPS enabled spreader, you can be confident the right amount of fertiliser is applied to the right area. By having an Agronomy Plan you’ll be able to keep a better eye on how you are tracking, keeping you constantly in control.

More effectively manage your nutrients: join thousands of Ravensdown shareholders already using these tools to make reporting easier.

Environmental services

Some farming activities must comply with environmental regulation, and this is becoming more complex as additional requirements come into effect. Regional and district councils are becoming more active in monitoring non-compliance. These regulations cover activities such as earthworks and vegetation clearance, silage and offal pits, track construction, culverts and dams, diverting waterways and new buildings. To assist customers to meet environmental regulations, Ravensdown’s in-house consultancy provides services such as farm environment plans, nutrient budgets, planning assessments, resource consents and due diligence.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact our Customer Centre on 0800 100 123.