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Selwyn Times: February 21, 2017

24 Tuesday

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SELWYN TIMES Tuesday February 28 2017 25 SELWYN RURAL LIFE New tool approved for estimating nitrogen losses N Check, a new electronic tool for arable and horticulture farmers, has been approved for use in the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment. It provides an alternative to OVERSEER® for estimating farm nitrogen losses. It is free, quick and easy to use. NCheck will be available for an interim period of up to five years while the crop module in OVERSEER® is being updated. In the meantime, it is important for farmers to keep their farm data from 2009- 2013 as they will eventually require this to develop an OVERSEER® nitrogen baseline. How does NCheck work? NCheck was designed to enable farmers to access their own N-loss numbers. The tool uses the farm address to access the soil and climate information for the farm and then leads the farmer through a short set of questions about the farm system and its management. It then uses this information to estimate a nitrogen loss for the farm. This number is the Nitrogen Loss Estimate for the farm. N-Check assumes that the farmer is applying good management practices (GMPs). In the background, the tool is accessing an extensive set of OVERSEER® results, generated for Environment Canterbury’s Matrix of Good Management (MGM) project via a set of answers. It is drawing on less farm information than a full OVERSEER® budget, so the N-Loss estimate it produces could be less accurate than the OVERSEER estimates. At the end of the process an NCheck report is available. This can be printed off and filed with the farmer’s consent, if one is required, and the farm environment plan. NCheck can be used by all farmers in Selwyn Te Waihora to determine their nitrogen loss number and based on this, whether or not a consent is required. Additionally NCheck can be used for two types of farms in Selwyn Te Waihora in the consent process and during on-farm audits. These are: Arable and horticultural farmers with cropping rotations on more than 50 per cent of the property or intensive vegetable rotations for more than 80 per cent of the time. Low leaching/lifestyle farming activities where nitrogen losses do not exceed 15 KgN/ha/year. Finding and using NCheck NCheck can be accessed on Environment Canterbury’s website: Once you have found the tool, follow the instructions to register yourself as a user. Guidelines for using NCheck are available on the same page of the website. Selwyn Te Waihora Land Management staff have scheduled a series of dropin sessions where they will be able to demonstrate NCheck, and FAR is planning to run consent-development workshops in the autumn. NCheck will be available for up to five years while the cropping module of OVERSEER® is being updated. Consents issued based on NCheck Nutrient Loss Reports will expire in 2022 and those who have used NCheck for consents this year, will need to reapply at that stage with OVERSEER® data. Farmers may still choose to use OVERSEER® data for the current consenting process. If you are part of an irrigation scheme, you may still need to use OVERSEER®. Check with your scheme. If a significant large part of your farm business relies on intensive, winter dairy grazing you should prepare an OVERSEER® budget. If you wish to explore different nitrogen mitigations or land use scenarios OVERSEER® will be the better option. To date, NCheck has been only been approved for use in the Selwyn Te Waihora Zone, however, there is a strong potential to use it in other Canterbury catchments to help with the consenting process. Approval in these zones will depend on representation from the zone committee to Environment Canterbury. A stronger case can be made if farmers support their zone committees with an application. Farmers are urged to do this. Selwyn Auto ALL YOUR MOTORING NEEDS › WOF’s › Diagnostics › Repairs › Servicing › Batteries › Tyres › Motorbike WOF’s & Repairs › Courtesy Cars Available Phone 329 5841 | 132 Leeston Road, Springston www.selwynauto.com | office@selwynauto.com GET CONNECTED WITH Scorch Broadband THE SIDE-BY-SIDE THAT’S MADE OF STEEL! $1,000 off the retail price Limited time only Roundwood Farm posts Deer Fencing Post and Rail Fencing Yarding Timber Oregon Rails Oregon Gates Sheep and Deer Netting Gallagher Strainrite Fencing Systems Rural Section HOURS Mon - Fri: 7am - 5pm Saturday: 8am- 12pm Weedons Ross Rd to Rolleston We are here Berketts Rd Jason Pester 1304 Main South Road, Christchurch jason@cthl.co.nz P 03 3477465 F 03 3477032 Trents Rd Main South Rd / SH1 Your Local Timber Merchant DEALErS WAnTED nOW! 0800 726 724 www.scorch.co.nz