Saturday, 05 December 2020 05:55

O'Connor announces further investment in soil

Written by  Staff Reporters
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor has announced further investment in the S-Map tool. Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor has announced further investment in the S-Map tool.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced a $6.25 million investment in mapping New Zealand’s most valuable soils.

“The more we know about our natural resources, including soils, the better we can make good sustainable land use decisions,” O’Connor said.

He says that good farm planning advice and good data are essential to the roadmap.

The government will invest the money, which was allocated in the 2019 Productive and Sustainable Land Use package, in expanding S-Map.

S-Map is a tool which combines on-the-ground soil sampling with digital mapping technologies.

“Expanding S-Map will have lasting benefits for our regions,” O’Connor said.

MPI has commissioned Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research to work with councils across New Zealand over the next five years to carry out the project.

The project could add approximately 1.5 million hectares of land to S-Map.

Manaaki Whenua chief executive Dr Richard Gordon says the information provided by S-Map is important for freshwater modelling and nutrient limit setting.

“We know there is strong demand for greater S-map coverage, to inform decision making on a range of national issues including climate change, food production, and meeting new freshwater regulations.”

As of August 2020, S-Map covers 50 percent of New Zealand’s farmable land (36 percent of total land).

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