… Water quality in dairy farming areas has increasingly been the focus of attention in New Zealand as more land is converted to dairying and the intensity of operations increases. Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in water lowered its quality by causing excessive growth of weeds, slime and algae, as well as affecting insect, fish and waterbird populations. A guide to good environmental management on dairy farms. The Environment section covers information about effluent, land, water and nutrient management on dairy farms. The growth of New Zealand’s highly profitable dairy industry has, to a large extent, been made possible by irrigation schemes which deliver the massive volumes of water … This proved that mitigation measures, such as riverbank planting, were not enough to offset the increased nutrient load from increased land use change. The New Zealand government's decision to partner the farming sector to encourage voluntary reductions in farm emissions failed to acknowledge that agricultural emissions also affect water … The Dairying and Clean Streams Accord is the main driver for assembling the information provided in this report. New Zealand freshwater quality has declined, and dairy farming is one identified contributor to this decline. The Environment section covers information about effluent, land, water and nutrient management on dairy farms. Managing farm runoff plays an important part in good farm management. Other land and river-based industries (eg. Reduce nutrient losses and minimise flood damage by protecting on-farm wetlands. Intensive dairy farming practices has led to water pollution from cattle effluent in many of the streams and rivers in New Zealand. From genetics to herd management and more, this section covers topics that will help guide your decisions. ''Unfortunately, if we continue to see large-scale conversion of land to more intensive uses, it is difficult to see how water quality will not continue to decline in the next few years. ''Ongoing and increasing nutrient loads will generally lead to worsening water quality - more degraded lakes, more turbid (cloudy) estuaries, greater frequency and duration of algal blooms at swimming spots and elsewhere, declines in the insects, fish and birds that rely on these ecosystems, and more water wells and surface water that exceed nitrate toxicity limits for drinking,'' she said. For example, in a river that flows swiftly to the sea, nitrogen and dissolved phosphorus in the water stays low because of its frequent flushing. According to the report, some  283,700 hectares of land has been converted to dairy between 1996 and 2008, at the same time sheep/beef farming land decreased by nearly 500,000ha. This had been economically beneficial to New Zealand and farmers had responded well by managing their impact on water by fencing waterways, managing raceways, tracks, paddocks and effluent, and reducing run-off through riparian planting. Maximise the success of your riparian planting by following these steps for how, when and what to plant beside waterways. Dairy farm pollution limits an 'assault on the regions': Bridges ... we all catch a cold," Bridges told Radio New Zealand this morning. Over the past two decades there have been major increases in dairy production in New Zealand. This report draws together monitoring data from 14 dairy farming catchments in New Zealand to provide a baseline of water quality (and land use) in these catchments to assist with future water-quality trend assessments. Benefit from safer, less stressful travel by considering these factors when constructing farm crossings. forestry) are also key polluters. Dairy farmers play an important role in protecting waterways. 2017 – Size of the industry. The People section shows you how to recruit quality staff, be a better manager, work within the law, grow your people and much more. Dairy farmers play an important role in protecting waterways. This research provides insight into dairy farmers responses to the water quality interventions introduced to mitigate diffuse pollution, and the socio-cultural dynamics that shaped their responses. "It [the report] serves as a stark warning that the nation is at a crossroads; we can either continue with the Government's and primary production sector's agenda of doubling agricultural output by 2025 - completely wrecking the environment, our waterways, our estuaries and beaches, our tourism sector, our international brand, and the kiwi way of life in the process - or we can look at smarter ways to grow the economy.". Improve pasture production, stock health and soil moisture by managing drains well. The Green Party has announced plans to put a halt on new dairy farms and introduce a nitrate pollution levy in order to reduce the widely agreed upon problem of waterway pollution. “Dairy has contributed to the degradation of almost every environmental metric in New Zealand, including filling the marine environment with sediment.” Greenpeace is calling for the Government to eliminate synthetic nitrogen fertiliser to cut pollution and reverse dairy expansion. ''Unfortunately, this investigation has shown the clear link between expanding dairy farming and increasing stress on water quality. Find out how to protect productive farmland and avoid waterway contamination by controlling erosion. There is no better example of that than promises to make New Zealand's rivers swimmable again. Environmental advocates are calling for urgent action to limit the conversion of beef and sheep farms to dairy to avoid a "freshwater quality disaster". From research and the services we provide, to education, policy and the Dairy Industry Strategy, there's so much to discover in this section. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report on water quality, released last year, said nitrate pollution in Canterbury's rivers, lakes and streams was predicted to rise by 45 percent over the 25 years to 2020. Forages for reduced nitrate leaching programme, Selwyn and Hinds - Meeting a Sustainable Future, Meeting a Sustainable Future Partner Farms. He said the question they need to tackle was how to grow farming while improving water quality. Animal management is a critical component of farm profitability and sustainability. This short clip outlines some of the key issues for our rivers, our climate and our farmers. This increase in intensity has required increased use of external inputs, in particular fertilizer, feed, and water. The Dairying and Clean Streams Accord is the main driver for assembling the information provided in this report. ''New Zealand needs to spend its resources on innovative solutions, not beating itself up,'' he said. Dairy farms produce 11 million tonnes of effluent compared with 418 million tonnes by humans (as opposed to discharging it to waterways). As one of New Zealand’s largest employers, the dairy sector needs motivated and passionate people to make a difference in the world. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment today released a report on water quality which highlights how the country is facing a ''classic economy versus environment dilemma''. Drawing a correlation between regions with a significant increase in dairy farming and those with large increases in nitrogen loads, Wright said the rapid growth had led to a ''big increase'' in the concentration of nitrogen in waterways. These include, disposing of town sewage and dairy shed effluent on to land to use as a fertiliser, nutrient budgeting, fencing streams and bridging crossings. This research provides insight into dairy farmers responses to the water quality interventions introduced to mitigate diffuse pollution, and the socio-cultural dynamics that shaped their responses. to reflect dairy farming on four properties in the lower Sherry Valley, particularly the frequent crossing of cows through the river water. Even with best practice mitigation, the large-scale conversion of more land to dairy farming will generally result in more degraded fresh water.''. The report also outlines ways nutrient losses could be mitigated. Over the past two decades there have been major increases in dairy production in New Zealand. It passes through the highly productive Waikato region, where dairy farming is a common land use. "We are absolutely committed to lifting environmental performance and ensuring on farm management practices meet national and regional limits that preserve New Zealand's clean green image. "New Zealanders want to be able to swim in our rivers," Sage said. Find out about the rules and most effective strategies here. Compared to many countries in the world, this is true. Forest & Bird say moderation is essential to stop the dramatic decline in the quality of New Zealand's waterways. In response to environmental concerns about farming, the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord is established with the goal to reduce the level of water pollution. Curtis said everyone acknowledged that current and future land use needed to be carefully managed in order to grow the economy and maintain and improve water quality. Most pregnancy losses occur in the first week after breeding. Declining water quality has coincided with a boom in New Zealand’s dairy industry, the biggest exporter in the world. "Further unregulated dairy expansion is not in the best interest of our economy or our environment. Despite dairy being New Zealand’s predominant export industry, there has been no national level analysis on the environmental impacts and costs of dairy farming in New Zealand. As a reaction to this campaign Fonterra, the largest dairy company in New Zealand, along with a number of government agencies instigated the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord to address water pollution due to dairy farming. Declining water quality has coincided with a boom in New Zealand’s dairy industry, the biggest exporter in the world. ''It is almost inevitable that without significantly more intervention, we will continue to see an on-going deterioration in water quality in many catchments across the country, particularly in Canterbury and Southland,'' she said. "What no one wants to talk about is that the current 'white gold rush' is leading New Zealand to a freshwater quality disaster.". The New Zealand dairy industry receives widespread public criticism of its environmental impacts. Does feeding zeolite pre-calving improve reproduction? ''IrrigationNZ believes win-wins are possible for agriculture and the environment and we have many examples within New Zealand of how intensive land use can be managed to significantly erduce its footprint, particularly under irrigated agriculture,'' he said. ''I applaud the effort that is being put into environmental mitigation on dairy farms. ENVIRONMENTALISTS: 'LIMIT DAIRY CONVERSIONS'. Improve lives, nurture animals, enhance the environment and design the future in a dairy career. This paper provides a case study of the intensification of dairy farming in New Zealand and its detrimental Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis said the report did not tell them anything they did not already know. If you want more choice in your business, good money management is the bottom line. Even when added water is … Is elevated blood BHB a suitable indicator of poor performance in grazing cows? Dairy farm pollution limits an 'assault on the regions': Bridges ... we all catch a cold," Bridges told Radio New Zealand this morning. Keeping stock out of waterway margins and wet areas such as drains, seeps and wetlands reduces stock losses, improves stock management and health, and improves water quality. A ford on a dairy farm raceway intersecting the Sherry River (at 41°28 ¢S, 172°43 ¢E) was chosen for study. of several Ecosystem Services such as clean air and water. However, it’s becoming apparent that New Zealand has an environmental pollution problem. When sheep/beef farms are converted to dairy farms, annual losses of both nitrogen and phosphorus increased. Our rivers, lakes, and streams are being polluted and too much water is being taken from them. Wright predicts between 2008 to 2020 nitrogen loads will increase by 15 per cent in Canterbury, and nationally there will be a six per cent growth. Find out how managing wet areas on your farm can benefit you. ", DETERIORATION WILL CONTINUE WITHOUT INTERVENTION. While dairy farming is a contributor to declining water quality it is not the only one. Intensified dairy farming thus incurs considerable environmental externalities: impacts that are not paid for directly by the dairy farmer. He said global demand for dairy had spurred on the increase in dairy farming in the past 20 years. 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Planting advice specific to your region to help you get the best value for every dollar spent. Water spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said nitrate pollution in Canterbury's rivers, lakes and streams was predicted to increase by 45 per cent between 1996 and 2020. "If the Government and the dairy industry fail to act on the warnings in this report they will essentially be giving two fingers to the next generation. All agricultural industries carry some responsibility and where the dairy industry has been regulated to help mitigate declining water quality, no such regulations exist for beef, sheep or deer farming. Our Environment section covers information about climate change, effluent, land, water and nutrient management on dairy farms. Will feeding starch-based supplements improve reproduction? All dairy careers make New Zealand’s dairy sector world leading. New Zealand has had a reputation for being ‘clean and green’ – a country of environmental beauty. Johnson said the report showed intensive agriculture had gone too far and was "out of control". Contact details for DairyNZ regional offices, consulting officers, and our Farmer Information Service. Concern about increasing degradation of soil and water quality and the long-term sustainability of dairy farming led to the New Zealand dairy industry initiating the Best Practice Dairy Catchments Project in 2001, in which four dairying catchments were chosen for long-term monitoring. Unfortunately, it is particularly difficult to control nitrogen. The Green Party is also urging the government to set tougher standard to ensure the recreational water quality of the country's waterways. Insight - New Zealanders value freshwater - so much so that four out of five people say it is their biggest environmental worry. Pollution and Dairy Farming in NZ: A way Forward - TOP In the late eighties and early nineties, New Zealand was virtually devoid of any type of overarching agricultural regulation. Improve water quality by fencing off waterways. Fish & Game chief executive Bryce Johnson said the PCE report vindicated the organisations "dirty dairying" campaigns against the industry. The ford consisted of Calls to limit dairy conversions are being made in the wake of a new report confirming fears dairying is polluting waterways. Likewise, phosphorus loads are expected to increase in Canterbury by three per cent between 2008 to 2020. Dr Jan Wright said the conversion of beef and sheep farming to dairy farming land had increased nutrient loads on waterways. Canterbury, which has highest rate of converted land, had a 27 per cent increase in nitrogen loads between 1996 to 2008. New Zealand’s milking cow population is now 4.8 million, and dairy farming is a major part of the New Zealand economy. Invasive species of fish and plants are still a major problem. Calls to limit dairy conversions are being made in the wake of a new report confirming fears dairying is polluting waterways. 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