Waikato Dairy Compliance Improves

NEW ZEALAND - The release of the 2010-11 Waikato Regional Council statistics showing a huge improvement in effluent compliance reflects the investment dairy farmers are making to meet their environmental responsibilities.
calendar icon 12 July 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

“Significant non-compliance is down to 12 per cent from 27 percent the year before,” says Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president James Houghton.

“This is partly due to the huge investment Waikato dairy farmers have made to ensure their effluent systems are up to date and up to code.

“A number of industry groups, including Fonterra, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers have been worked with farmers to improve effluent systems on their farms.

“Every farm is an individual business and we as an industry have to focus on getting everyone to work together to achieve a common good. We give advice and individuals choose their direction.

“It is also partly down to an improved monitoring programme by the Waikato Regional Council which took the realities of farming into account.

“Federated Farmers has said that to get a full understanding of compliance in Waikato, the council needed to expand its monitoring, rather than focus on farms known to have compliance issues.

“This year the council increased its monitoring from 600 farms to 1000, giving a clearer picture of how well our farmers are doing.

“Sixty-six per cent of farms were fully compliant with the effluent rules in 2010-11, up significantly from 51 per cent the year before. Others were mostly compliant or had technical problems which would not have resulted in effluent getting into waterways.

“It is great that the regional council recognises the hard work and thousands of dollars which individual farmers are investing to ensure effluent gets nowhere near the waterways.

“The environment is like a huge jigsaw and there has been a lot of speculation on what pieces are needed to make it work. Some are relevant, but others don’t fit.

“We want to make sure the direction that we are moving is both the right one and a sustainable one for all involved,” Mr Houghton concluded.

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