Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Production drop not necessary

13 August 2004

Production drop not necessary for nutrient reduction from farms

For immediate release: Friday 13 August 2004 Rotorua farmers do not necessarily have to drop production to reduce the amount of nutrients leaching from their properties into nearby streams or lakes, a new report concludes.

The study, by AgResearch, outlines a number of farm management practices that can cut down nitrogen and phosphorus outputs from a property. They include grazing management, cultivation practices, winter crop management and fertiliser management.

Environment Bay of Plenty commissioned the study as part of its work for the Rotorua Lakes Protection and Restoration Action Programme. It did so because of widespread concern that nutrients from agriculture have a role in degrading the quality of the Rotorua lakes. Called “Land Use Impacts on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loss and Management Options for Intervention”, the report was presented to the third meeting of the working party for the Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti Action Plan last week.

It states that farmers can make a significant difference to nutrient outputs by shortening the time animals spend on pasture during the winter. In a dairy system, grazing cows off over winter or the use of a feed-pad during winter can reduce nitrate leaching by up to 60%.

Other more novel approaches show potential but they have not yet been quantified, it adds. In arable cropping, an important aspect is the timing of cultivation and the presence of a winter cover crop.

At the meeting, the working party also reviewed reports from several focus groups on spring flow diversions, the diversion of the Ohau Channel outflow, the Ohau Channel groyne and lake water levels and control structures. Rotorua District Council’s Greg Manzano reported on the Rotorua sewerage scheme upgrade and extensions.

Working Party chairman Bill Cleghorn says very good progress is being made in evaluating some of the urgent actions required for improving water quality, particularly in Lake Rotoiti.

Other new reports include:

Economic evaluation of water quality induced changes in Rotoiti and Rotorua. (Nimmo-Bell) What would be the impact on the local and regional economy of land use changes to meet nutrient limits in the Rotorua/Rotoiti catchments? This report looks at the economic losses from a reduction in land-use intensity. It recognises that pastoral farming, forestry and tourism are all important economically and suggests options to reduce nutrients going into the lakes should also aim to minimise economic losses to landowners and the wider community.

Rotorua Lakes: Evaluation of Less Tangible Values (Nimmo-Bell) Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti are valued highly by people, as the results of this survey show. Some points: The presence of algal blooms affects the use of the lakes for the majority of respondents. Picnicking is the most popular recreational activity for Rotorua people followed by swimming then walking and/or photography. About half of the respondents think the government and the polluter should pay for lake water quality improvement. Over half are not willing to pay. Those who are willing to pay think the lake is worth preserving “regardless of cost”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election