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Dairy payout opportunity to future-proof farming

14 December 2007

Dairy payout an opportunity to future-proof farming

Fonterra's lift in the forecast payout for the season to $6.90 is a major opportunity to future-proof New Zealand farming, says the Green Party.

"Business is booming for the dairy industry, and the high payout forecast means a chance to invest in the long term sustainability of the industry," says Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos.

"There has been a lot of work gone into riparian protection, nutrient budgeting, better effluent management and the like over recent years and that is to be welcomed. In particular riparian protection through fencing, bridging and culverts has made good progress.

"However, we also know that there are high levels of non-compliance with discharge consents, and effluent management is a crucial area in addressing water quality.

"In addition, while the 2007 targets for riparian fencing, bridging and culverts have been met, there is still work to be done excluding stock with waterways. Nutrient management is also still an issue for some.

"The reality is that the business environment for farmers is changing just as is happening for all business operations. Farmers now face the reality of a carbon charge from 2025 and increasing environmental regulation because of the significant impacts on water quality of intensive dairy farming.

"Expectations are changing and other New Zealanders will not continue to put up with degraded waterways.

"In addition there are growing calls for commercial operations to pay for the water they use. Farmers will have to invest in sustainability to stay in the game and now is a great time to do it."


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