NZ Farmer - Water maze to filter sediment is part of a plan to protect Waikato farm's lake

NZ Farmer - Water maze to filter sediment is part of a plan to protect Waikato farm's lake

At the side of a Waikato farm lake is a maze of S-bends and narrow-necked pools.

Stream water meanders through the hurdles on its way to a peat lake on Mill Ridge farm, filtering sediment along the way.

The farm was one of 40 around the country to accept visitors as part of Fonterra's Open Gates day.

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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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Radio NZ - Farmers, schools and hapū join forces to save Kaipara Harbour

Radio NZ - Farmers, schools and hapū join forces to save Kaipara Harbour

Hapū, farmers and school children have joined forces in Northland this winter to plant 20,000 native trees beside rivers that flow down to the Kaipara Harbour.

The project is part of a larger campaign to stop silt build-up on the seabed, and reverse the damage caused over the years by deforestation and the failure until recently to fence off cattle from waterways.

The Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group, made up of councils, landowners, Crown agencies such as NIWA and iwi, has been working for a decade to protect the harbour, which drains half of Northland.

Its chairman, Willie Wright of Te Uri o Hau, said two million trees had been planted in the massive catchment, stretching from Hokianga to Whangarei down to the Waitakere Ranges.

But the picture is still not a rosy one.

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