A Waikato farmer has been convicted and fined $25,050 for carrying out unlawful earthworks in a stream on his Te Awamutu property in May and June 2020.
It says monitoring of effluent management has had mixed findings.
Following the recent easing of Covid restrictions in the Waikato, the council’s rural compliance team has resumed its proactive monitoring of effluent management systems across the region’s 4000 dairy farms.
“Weather conditions have been pretty good for irrigating, and we would have expected to see effluent being used effectively as a fertiliser and not having a negative impact on the environment,” said rural compliance team leader Stu Stone.
“But we’ve found one in 10 of the farms visited either has not got adequate infrastructure in place, or their management practices have slipped.
“It is unfortunate that we are placed in a position of having to formally investigate the worst of these cases, and there is a real possibility that some of them may result in prosecution,” Stone said.
It is encouraging farmers to connect with the wider industry to get good guidance on dairy effluent infrastructure.
Accredited designers listed by DairyNZ are the appropriate people to get guidance from.
“They will design an effluent infrastructure system that is fit for purpose for that particular farm,” says Stone.
He reminded farmers that even with a good level of infrastructure there still needed to be investment made in staff training and all farm staff needed to be vigilant on a day-to-day basis to avoid mishaps.