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: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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