Focus Activity Farm Plans

​​A Focus Activity Farm Plan is an environmental plan that provides farm-specific good management practice advice and recommendations for your property.

A range of good management practices may be recommended, but mainly the plan will concentrate on:

  • Nutrient management
  • Winter grazing
  • Riparian management

A Focus Activity Farm Plan contains several colour aerial photo maps detailing soil types, waterway locations and winter grazing paddocks, along with factsheets and recommended actions for your farm.

Celebrating success with Focus Activity Farm Plans


Farmers across Southland have been working with our land sustainability team to produce focus activity farm plans over the past five years.  We have taken a look at the information obtained, and prepared a​ 2019 FAFP Evaluation report.pdf. Highlights are:


·        At time of report, 650 Focus Activity Farm Plans had been completed (as of 20/8/19 902 plans have been completed) across a mix of farming types

·        Over half of all farmers with plans are underway with stock exclusion

·        At least 80% of all farmers with plans are implementing at least one of the wintering good management practices, and 30% are implementing all wintering good management practices. The good management practices we promote are paddock selection, grazing direction, and cultivation around waterways/critical source areas 

·        Information in your Focus Activity Farm Plan can be used by you to create an Appendix N farm plan (required by the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan).  Check out Appendix N to see what information you need to add to be compliant ​

What are the benefits of a plan?

Some of the benefits of having a Focus Activity Farm Plan include:

  • Identifying the environmental risks specific to your property
  • Managing soil, water and nutrient losses, which cost you money
  • Demonstrating that your management practices are having a positive impact on the environment.

Farmers who have had a Focus Activity Farm Plan compiled for their property are also able to apply for funding to assist with the implementation of these recommendations.


Each factsheet below highlights an area where adopting good management practices can have a positive effect on water quality. If you'd like more information on any of these areas, please contact one of our land sustainability o​fficers for some free, one-on-one advice.​

Contact us today

Contact the Land Sustainability team at Environment Southland if you would like a Focus Activity Farm Plan compiled for your property.

A team member will arrange a time to visit, undertake a survey of your farm and prepare a plan from the information gathered. Phone 0800 76 88 45, email or fill in our online contact form.

Case Study - Selwyn Earwaker (Tokanui)

selwyn_earwaker.jpgOne of Selwyn Earwaker’s biggest concerns used to be stock losses to waterways on his 227 hectare Tokanui sheep farm.

The Tokanui River forms one of the farm’s boundaries, which meant sheep could cross on to neighbouring property in summer, and in winter, with higher water levels, stock were becoming trapped. Fencing was the obvious solution.

“I had been working at it myself and called Environment Southland about possible funding to help,” Selwyn says.

He spoke to land sustainability officer Sam Dixon who explained that if he completed a Focus Activity Farm Plan he could then apply for funding to assist with the cost of implementing the recommendations in the plan.

The plan that Sam developed, at no direct cost to Selwyn, provides recommendations that are focused on good management practices for winter grazing, riparian management and nutrient management.

The recommendations aim to keep sediment and nutrients on-farm and out of waterways – providing benefits for farm sustainability and efficiency while also improving water quality.

As part of the plan, Sam walked and drove all the waterways with GPS mapping on the Collector app.

Sam says there are approximately 10km of waterways on the Earwaker property. “Selwyn had already completed over 7km of fencing which is fantastic.”

Recommendations in the plan included completing the fencing as well as some riparian planting suggestions, implementing strategic winter grazing, fencing and planting around a sediment pond, and getting underway with a nutrient budget.

Selwyn says it’s still early days for getting into the recommendations of the plan, but he’s already done one season of strategic winter grazing and has similar plans for this year.

He’s no longer concerned about losing stock to waterways or to his neighbours either, now that fencing along his Tokanui River boundary is complete.  As well, he’s fenced a small wetland area, all with the help of a successful funding application to Environment Southland.

In the future, Selwyn plans to fence a stunning 20ha patch of native forest on his property and applying for a QEII covenant to protect it.​

Page reviewed: 21 Aug 2019 9:57am