“Dirty Dairying” And its effects on New Zealand waterways
Aim Improve effluent management and its impact on New Zealand water ways.
Goals To understand the problems that farmers face With effluent management and through effective research analysis develop practical solutions.
Problem “Totally unacceptable" levels of effluent management Agriculture Minister David Carter An audit of the industry shows an increasing rate of dairy farmers are failing to properly treat the toxic run off from their land, which in turn poisons waterways and streams. By Simon Shepherd (3 News) MON, 15 MAR 2010 5:43P.M.
What’s being done at present? 1. Mr Smith’s (Dairy Farmer) $7000 box of gadgets measures wind, rain, soil moisture and soil temperature. The data he collects is transmitted via a cell phone network to a server in wellington, which then sends back a text every morning telling the farmer how much they can spray “Live information like this is all important in this day and age,” he says. Bridgit Hawkins, David Walker (Gen-I) Garth Evans (formally Massey)
2. Dairying has been trying to clean up its act, setting up the Clean Streams Accord in 2003 – with limited compliance. “it was meant to be 100 percent from day one – we’ve had consistently about one in six farmers refusing to comply,” says Forest and Bird’s Kevin Hackwell. • Nitrification inhibitors are being developed • Better overpasses to inhibit stock crossing streams are being developed • South Island dairy farmer turned electrician, Lindsay Lewis’s system which allows farmers to fertilise their farms with stock effluent without polluting waterways with nitrates and faecal coli forms. • Better management of Riparian margins (20 meters of mixed planting would be ideal) needing to be addressed.
Where to from here? 1. Find Farmers already implementing the systems listed above and talk to them about the product, its usefulness and what could be done better. 2. Visually documenting the daily routines that farmers go through As a form of analysis. 3. Get in touch with other companies who are working in the field and talk to them about what they are doing. emailed Phil from Harmonic)