Sensible effluent spreading ensures farms benefit - Waikato Regional Council

Sensible effluent spreading ensures farms benefit - Waikato Regional Council

For sound environmental reasons, effluent is often talked about as a contaminant, with a focus on the risks involved if spreading it is done when conditions are not suitable.

But the Waikato Regional Council also recognises clearly the positive potential of effluent given the ability of the nutrients it contains to boost farm productivity and keep fertiliser costs down.

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NZ Farmer - Soil scientist's road map to clean green future

NZ Farmer - Soil scientist's road map to clean green future

According to the Government, our agricultural industry and dairying in particular has been working for a long time on mitigating its impact on the environment.

Rather than seeing a positive return to the farmer on the levies they pay in this regard, the health of our lakes, rivers and streams is a continuing concern.

One wonders whether the right questions are being asked and addressed, and what return has the taxpayer received from the public-good science funding into environmental research.

Farmers could convert the volatile N and P in dairy effluent ponds to less leachable and less volatilisable organically bound forms and apply as a liquid folia spray.

Given the increasing environmental footprint from agriculture, one wonders how the various mitigating measures, including increasing fencing of waterways, reducing cow numbers, stock exclusion, developing rumen vaccines etc, is working for us.

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