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Inaugural winners of DairyNZ ‘Prize Pond’ awards announced

MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday, 17 May 2012

For immediate release

Inaugural winners of DairyNZ ‘Prize Pond’ awards announced


Effluent storage ponds from Canterbury and Taranaki have picked up DairyNZ Prize Pond Awards for keeping pond levels low in an event believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

Canterbury farm owners Murray and Shirley Thomas and sharemilkers Dave and Pip Howard, have a 30 day holding pond irrigating 160ha under a central pivot system.

Dave Howard, who farms near Ashburton, says keeping pond levels low is a no-brainer.

“It’s pretty simple; if we keep some room in our pond and it’s not too full, we have options on how we manage the farm. If we have no capacity, we have no options. Otherwise it's a bit of an effort to keep on top of it, therefore we just make it part of how we manage the farm," says Dave.

The Taranaki ‘Prize Pond’ is owned by Ken Sole and is managed by sharemilker Dan Merritt. Ken is glad they entered.

“We’re really pleased that our low pond, and how we manage it, has been recognised,” says Ken.

Prize Pond chief judge DairyNZ’s development project manager for effluent, Dr Theresa Wilson says the unique competition threw up examples of well-managed and constructed ponds.

“The Prize Pond entries from farmers nation-wide showed many effective ponds at low levels, and judges from the effluent team were pushed to select a winner,” says Theresa.

“We’re thrilled to be able to put on barbecues for the winners and their farm teams to celebrate their awards with our Prize Pond supporter, farming commentator and former All-Black Richard Loe.”

DairyNZ ran the competition, alongside a series of cartoons, articles and reminders to help people in charge of managing farm effluent systems to keep as much effluent storage free as possible heading into winter.

“It was great to see so many farmers getting into the fun spirit of the competition. We had entries that really demonstrated how proud farmers are of how they manage their ponds. Their ponds didn’t just look great but they dressed up in the spirit of the awards too.”

DairyNZ hopes the initiative contributes to an improvement in effluent compliance results.

“If this competition shows us anything it’s that farmers are looking at their ponds in a new light – they see a full pond that lacks storage capacity as a risk, and they are seeing well-managed low ponds with great deal of pride.”

Two highly commended entries have also been awarded. The ‘outstanding spirit’ award was given to Zane and Mel Scott of Southland for the sheer exuberance they displayed over having a low pond.

Also highly commended was Mikaeyla Hall from Outram in Otago for a photo of the best pond makeover.


-ENDS-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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