A Waikato environmentalist who led a public campaign against poor winter grazing practices on Southland farms says farmers are making improvements.
DairyNZ says Waikato dairy farmers found to be significantly non-compliant are letting all farmers down by not doing their bit for the environment, so they must wear the consequences.
“We support the monitoring of high-risk farms by Waikato Regional Council and the increased focus on those who need to lift their game,” says DairyNZ environment and catchment manager Aslan Wright-Stow.
“These farmers are bringing down the good work of the approximately 3600 other Waikato dairy farmers who are doing their bit to look after waterways, manage effluent well and are investing in the latest technologies.
“Each farm has the potential to have an impact – we want all our dairy farms doing their part to manage effluent well and look after the environment.”
Wright-Stow says the sector has a clear vision to improve water quality and it requires everyone and every farmer to do their bit.
“The sector has invested in a programme which ensures effluent system professionals are accredited and can provide the best advice to farmers, including tools to ensure that the amount of effluent storage is adequate,” says Wright-Stow.“DairyNZ also has a Warrant of Fitness programme for farmers to identify areas of their effluent system which need improving, as well as help which is available through our team to support farmers to meet their requirements.“There has been a lot of improvements across the country, both in terms of knowledge and practice. The number of farmers who continue to be non-compliant are few and do not represent the majority.”
Dairy farmers looking for effluent system information are advised to visit www.dairynz.co.nz/effluent or ph 0800 4 324 7969.