Cleaning up the effluent

One of the by products of turning grass in to protein is manure and when a lot of it is collected in one place, like a milking shed, the question of disposal arises.

Most dairy farmers follow the rules and do it as prescribed by regional councils in a manner which adds nutrients to the soil without polluting waterways.

A few either don’t know or don’t care and when councils discover breaches of consents they prosecute but in spite of this some farmers still aren’t doing all they can to improve their systems so Fonterra has come up with a carrot and stick approach to solving the problem.

The carrot comes in the form of advice fromt heir staff and the stick will be deductions from milk payouts.

The minority of farmers who deliberately, or through ignorance, breach discharge consents reflect badly on the whole industry so I”m pleased that Fonterra is taking this approach.

Alf Grumble  notes this isn’t good enough for the Greens and Fish & Game but rightly points out that compliance is a matter for councils and that Fonterra’s penalties aren’t a substitute for any legal action, they’ll be in addition to it.

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