Applying the right amount of effluent can save farmers money — but applying too much can damage pasture.
The Waikato Regional Council will instead run catchment-specific field days to promote good effluent management practices.
The council says it will take a fresh approach to helping farmers with effluent management next year, with more catchment field days for providing advice to smaller groups of farmers closer to home.
In recent years, the council has run the annual Effluent Expo at Mystery Creek, an event which has regularly attracted hundreds of farmers and dozens of exhibitors.
The council has decided not to hold an expo at Mystery Creek in 2016 given the dairy payout situation, and it believes its new approach will make things simpler for farmers.
“We feel we can better support farmers in the current economic climate by running effluent management field days in each catchment to help drive overall improvements in effluent systems,” says sustainable agriculture advisor Electra Kalaugher.
Meanwhile, the council also intends having a stand at the Grasslandz agriculture hub in Hamilton in January. “So we won’t be slowing up on offering effluent management advice to farmers even though we’re not going ahead with the Effluent Expo at Mystery Creek,” she says.