Friday, 17 April 2020 09:34

Dairy farmers committed to water quality

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Environment Minister David Parker said the report will help inform the work already underway. Environment Minister David Parker said the report will help inform the work already underway.

Dairy farmers are committed to protecting New Zealand’s environment and taking action on-farm to support that, says DairyNZ.

DairyNZ strategy and investment leader for environment, Dr David Burger says the dairy sector is on the journey to improve and protect water quality outcomes.

His comments came at the release of Our Freshwater 2020 report, highlighting New Zealand’s environmental challenges and where we can all play our part.

“Our farmers have been working toward this for over a decade. We are continuing to do more every year,” says Burger. 

“The Freshwater 2020 report does draw some key themes together for urban, farming and forestry, and shows us that all land use has an impact on our freshwater.” 

However, Burger said the report’s approach compares current water quality with native forest waterway condition, and DairyNZ believes it is therefore somewhat misleading.

“We know that all development has an impact on water quality but it is unrealistic to compare to native forest state. An estimated 95% of total river length in pastoral catchments exceeded one or more guideline values simply because they are being compared to very high native forest standard,” said Burger.

Interestingly, more than 50% of native waterways also failed to meet the same criteria. This sets the benchmark very high for catchments with modified land use.

Environment Minister David Parker said the report will help inform the work already underway, to protect and restore waterways and the life in them. 

“New Zealanders want to swim, fish, gather mahinga kai and enjoy freshwater as our parents and grandparents did. We also need clean water to drink and irrigation to support a sustainable economy,” he said. 

“But our water is suffering as a result of human activities, including the effects of climate change.” 

More like this

Smart ways to lower working hours

With milkings typically taking around 17 to 24 hours a week per worker, many farmers have been focusing on milking smarter to reduce hours and creative ways to shorten the working week - like the 22% who report they are using flexible milking.

National

A herd to suit all systems

Maximising per-cow production has always been an interest of Manawatu dairy farmers Craig and Raewyne Passey - and Holstein Friesian…

Fonterra shares bounce around

Fonterra's share price jumped on the news that the co-op will provide financial support to improve liquidity in its share…

Machinery & Products

Effective water use

At a time when the rising cost of inputs like fuel, transport and fertiliser are putting increased pressure on profitability,…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter