Dairying and Clean Streams Accord Year Six Snapshot Released

18 March 2010

The Accord partners today released the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord Snapshot Report for the 2008/09 dairy season, revealing that the management of effluent discharge remains a significant challenge for dairy farmers.

While some progress was made toward achieving three of the Accord targets, the number of farms where effluent discharge complied with resource consents and regional plans, dropped to its lowest level yet.

MAF Director General Murray Sherwin says as the government agency charged with managing the Accord, MAF will support the industry to improve effluence compliance figures while targeting two additional key areas this coming year.

"The first is a need to verify the data gathered in the Accord," he says.

"Audits were completed by Fonterra in 2004 and 2006. This coming dairy season, MAF will commission a further nationwide audit of data on behalf of the Accord partners.

"The second area of focus is nutrient management – supporting farmers to take the next step from simply having a nutrient budget, which 99% of farms do, to actively managing nutrient inputs and outputs.

"Effective nutrient management is a key part of "smart" farming. Excessive nutrient use and loss indicates a breakdown in the efficiency of the system and means nutrients are being wasted. No farmer wants to run his business via an inefficient system as this is bad from both the environment and farmers' bottom line.

"A number of nutrient management tools already exist and MAF will continue to work with industry partners to see these used more widely. One such tool is Overseer, which is being continually refined and updated to reflect regional differences.

"The partners have agreed to start collecting data on the uptake of nutrient management systems for next season's snapshot.

"In addition, the Government, Fonterra, DairyNZ and fertiliser industries have invested heavily in a three-year research programme to improve understanding of the effectiveness and performance variations of nitrification inhibitors across regions.

"The results of this research should provide us with another tool to support effective on-farm nutrient management."

Mr Sherwin says MAF will continue to work with the industry to provide the support needed to bring about the necessary change in farmer behaviour.

Accord Target 2007/08
%
2008/09
%
Dairy cattle are excluded from streams, rivers and lakes 78 80
Regular race crossing points have bridges or culverts 98 98
All dairy farm effluent discharge to comply with resource consents and regional plans 64 60
All dairy farms to have in place systems to manage nutrient inputs and outputs 98 99
Fifty percent of regionally significant wetlands to be fenced by 2005, rising to 90 percent by 2007 Not reported 7 of 13 councils identified;
3 have met the 2005 target

A summary of the results is available here.

A copy of the full report can be found here.

ENDS

Media contact:
Deborah Gray | Senior Communications Advisor | MAF Policy
Phone: 64-4-894 0715 | Mobile: 029 894 0715 | Email: deborah.gray@maf.govt.nz

  

 

Last Updated: 22 September 2010

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