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Greater Wellington's dairy farmers as compliance heroes

Greater Wellington's dairy farmers as compliance heroes

In the space of three seasons, dairy farmers in the Greater Wellington region have massively lifted their performance in terms of dairy compliance.

"In the course of three seasons, dairy farmers have gone from 53 percent to 92 percent full compliance with resource consent conditions," says Graeme Stuart, Federated Farmers Wairarapa dairy chairperson.

"Looking at where the rubber truly hits the road, in terms of significant non-compliance, then we've seen that fall to 1.6 percent.

"This is all a result of farmers listening and then acting upon sound advice.

"Fonterra Cooperative Group is coming to my farm this Friday under its 'every farm, every year' inspection programme. This is for Fonterra to verify for itself, the steps I'm taking to ensure my farm is compliant with resource consent conditions.

"So we've not only had the council checking on our practices but Fonterra too.

"Greater Wellington Regional Council really deserves credit for seeing farmers as part of the solution instead of being the problem. This is why compliance is positively heading upwards.

"We've got a good story to tell because we're starting to get on top of point source pollution. Effluent fieldays run by DairyNZ have been well attended because there's a hunger to learn more about what we can do as farmers.

"There's a sound economic reason to look at effluent. DairyNZ estimates recycling dairy effluent as fertiliser can save the average farm $10,000-$20,000 each year.

"There's much focus on what some say we get wrong, but surely, this is a time to celebrate a concerted dairy industry effort that is working," Mr Stuart concluded.

© Scoop Media

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