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Farmers in Waituna Show Commitment to Sustainable Practices

Farmers in Waituna Show Commitment to Sustainable Practices

Representatives from Waituna presented an update on the Catchment Action Plan to Environmental Management Committee meeting on Friday that showed significant progress and investment.

Local farmers, Dairy NZ, Fonterra and Environment Southland worked together to produce the plan which identifies practical on-farm actions to reduce the effects of farming on the lagoon. It was released in December 2011.

Ewen Pirie of the Lake Waituna Control Association, local farmer Graeme McKenzie and Julie Christie from Dairy NZ talked about the improvements and investments made by farmers.

They distributed the booklet, Dairy farming in the Waituna Catchment – Update October 2012 which showed that farms were making strong progress across all key areas of environmental performance with 70 per cent of identified farm management recommendations having been implemented. This represented an investment of $1 million by farmers to protect the health of the lagoon.

Mr McKenzie said farmers’ investment in the catchment was directly related to wanting to look after it. “In a year of relatively low pay-out, farmers have put in this investment. A lot of this is well ahead of consents,” he said.

Mr Pirie said relationships between Environment Southland staff and farmers were outstanding and better than they had been in the past. “Most people were willing to sit down and talk though issues, which was a direct result of the quality of staff,” he said

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ENDS

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