FLRC Shortcourses -

Advanced Soil Conservation


Regional councils in New Zealand have recognised that soil conservation practices play a key role in the development and implementation of Farm Environment Plans to reduce the impact of farming and forestry on water quality.

In response to ongoing demand and with extensive consultation and support from Horizons, Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Waikato, and Gisborne Regional and District Councils, as well as industry collaborators and professional bodies (eg. Regional Council Land Managers Group and NZARM), staff of the FLRC (School of Agriculture & Environment, Massey University) have developed an Introductory Soil Conservation short course for rural professionals.

Module 1 (Introduction to Nutrient and Sediment Loss, and Mitigation Strategies) leads on to Module 2 (Soil and Nutrient Loss Processes), and then onto Module 3 (Land and Water Management Farm Plans).  Modules 2 and 3 will be offered as separate professional development courses to those who complete Module 1.

The Introductory Course comprises approximately 40 hours of online study and report writing and 8 hours for a compulsory field trip. It is designed to introduce and/or reinforce the concepts of soil conservation in New Zealand to the rural professional. This is achieved by:

- Using the history of NZ to understand the drivers and consequences of government responses to soil conservation issues.

- Introducing and reinforcing the systems used to classify landscape units, the different types of soil and nutrient loss, and the options available to mitigate these losses.

- Conducting a field trip in which observed soil erosion, nutrient loss, and mitigation practices are discussed in the context of soil conservation concepts.

Participants will be required to integrate the material covered in the course into a report summarising the outcome of the field trip examining erosion and nutrient loss, their consequences and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies.

In Module 2 (Soil and Nutrient Loss Processes) students will analyse the physical and chemical processes that underlie soil, nutrient, and pathogen loss, and use the tools and data available to characterise and quantify these losses at a catchment scale.  This knowledge, as well as simple financial tools, will be used to justify the use of particular mitigation options applied to a case study farm.

Module 3 (Land and Water Management Farm Plan) will integrate the concepts, tools, and skills developed in Modules 1 and 2, to construct a land and water management farm plan.  This will also incorporate the unique attributes of the farm system, the farmer, and associated stakeholders.

Follow the links for course outlines for all three Modules of the Advanced Soil Conservation course (pdf's):

Module 1 - Introduction to Nutrient and Sediment Loss, and Mitigation Strategies CLICK HERE

Module 2 - Soil and Nutrient Loss Processes CLICK HERE

Module 3 - Land and Water Management Farm Plan CLICK HERE

For all course enquiries and to register an expression of interest
or be sent an enrolment form,
please email Fiona Bardell:
If you are interested in other shortcourses offered by FLRC, CLICK HERE

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