We bet you’re thinking that keeping stock out of water, grass filters or native plantings along waterways is the equivalent of plastering over the nation’s water quality cracks.
Looks good, doesn’t fix the problem – right? Well this might surprise you then, but no.
We are two of six water quality scientists at DairyNZ. Our jobs are to research how farmers can improve water quality, translating the science into action say Dr Tom Stephens and Aslan Wright-Stow.
We use robust science to improve water quality in New Zealand. We hope this article creates an appreciation of the science developed by many researchers, over many decades, and gives you the confidence to know that riparian management contributes towards improving water quality on your farm, particularly receiving environments downstream.
So let’s talk the ’why’ and ’how’ riparian management improves water quality. Before that it’s worth emphasising this doesn’t replace, but complements other good practices. For instance, nutrient budgeting and ensuring sufficient effluent storage also contribute to keeping contaminants out of water.