Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Environmental risk assessment regime to apply to dairy farms

MEDIA RELEASE

5 September 2014

New environmental risk assessment regime to apply to Otago dairy farms

The Otago Regional Council will move to a new risk-based system of dairy farm inspections in 2014-15 as part of the implementation of new water quality rules for the Otago region.

ORC director of environmental monitoring and operations Jeff Donaldson said the new regime will result in a shift from the annual dairy inspection for every farm to a risk management approach.

“Every farm will be assessed on their environmental risk and decisions made about how often they need to be inspected based on that risk,” Mr Donaldson said.

The key criteria for such decisions include:

1. Whether the dairy farm is in a degraded river catchment;
2. Whether the dairy farm has adopted best infrastructure management for their area; and
3. Whether there are drainage risks (eg tiles, mole drains that lead to waterways) on the property.

Mr Donaldson said that if dairy farmers reduce their environmental risks through improvements in infrastructure, the frequency of inspections by ORC staff will decrease.

“When water quality also improves in degraded catchments, inspection frequency will also reduce further,” he said.

“Our objectives are to have every farm compliant with the new water quality rules; to incentivise farmers to adopt best practice in their land management, and to ensure water quality improves and meets the schedule 15 and 16 standards in the Otago Water Plan.”

Between September 2013 and April this year a total of 435 dairy sheds were operating in the region. Of these, 407 (representing 93.5%) of the farms were compliant with the permitted activity rules.

A total of 28 dairy farms (6.5%) were found to have one or more breaches of permitted activity rules, where their activities had the potential to adversely affect the environment. Of these 28, 10 dairy farms’ non-compliance was regarded as serious, and resulted in the council initiating eight
prosecutions, and issuing four infringement notices.

Mr Donaldson said the results were an improvement on 2012-13 when 378 of the 413 dairy farms (or 91.5 percent) then operating complied with the permitted activity rules, leaving 35 (8.5 percent) with one or more breaches.

Of these 35, 16 were adjudged to be seriously non-compliant, with five prosecutions initiated and 12 infringement notices issued.

Mr Donaldson said the improvement in compliance in 2013-14 compared to 2012-13 reflected a number of farmers having significantly upgraded their effluent management infrastructure.

This included installing effluent storage systems, installing gatorbuddies (electronic sensor systems in the event of irrigator failure e.g. hose disconnecting from the travelling irrigator) on the irrigator systems, and upgrades to K-line or centre pivot irrigation systems.

“While this improvement is pleasing, we would like to see the percentage of compliant farms increase even further as the new water quality rules take effect,” Mr Donaldson said

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news