Farmers are counting the cost after a violent storm which cut transport links on both sides of the South Island and looks likely to disrupt West Coast milk collection for weeks.
Some roads on the Coromandel are either closed or restricted as a result of heavy rain in recent days, which has made it difficult for dairy supply companies to pick up milk from some farmers.
“We know storage capacity is going to be an issue for some farmers, and disposing of waste milk can be a problem for them,” says the council’s farming services team leader, Stuart Stone.
“Discharging or dumping of milk into a waterway has a massive effect on watercourses, a thousand times more drastic than farm dairy shed effluent. Any discharge of milk will deplete oxygen and kill all river and stream life, such as trout, eels, insects, koura and vegetation,” Stone says.
“But there are a number of safer emergency disposal options available to farmers, and these can be discussed with their dairy companies or our staff,” he says.
The council’s farming services team is on standby to provide advice to farmers on emergency milk disposal options – call our 24-hour freephone on 0800 800 401.