MacKenzie dairy development applicant responds

Environment Canterbury has recieved more than 3000 submissions on the application for intensive dairy operations in the Mackenzie Basin.

Richard Peacock, a director for two of the companies applying for resource consent for intensive dairying operations in the Mackenzie Baisn has responded to my post on the issue.

Since the post is a few days old and his comment may be missed, I have copied it in full:

Fonterra utilise this farming system in China and believe it to be appropriate there, 75% of dairy farmers in Europe and USA utilise this farming system. If it is environmentally sustainable in these countries why not in that part of NZ that most closely replicates these continental climates. Having travelled widely I encounter reference only to sheep when NZ is mentioned. There is total surprise when it is advised that NZ is one of the largest exporters of dairy products in the world. This farming model works. It reduces feed requirement (30% less in winter). There is total control of effluent discharge. Wet ground, no grass growth, no spreading of effluent on ground. No urine patching (the biggest cause of nitrate leaching, methane can be collected economically and re-utilised on farm to drive plant, equipment (tractors and trucks, surplus power can be fed into the National grid, research is being undertaken to collect CO2 and Nitrous Oxide in the barns, scrub it and store it in the effluent management system. Self sustainability in emissions is potentially achievable and this system should be encouraged. The financial model works at $4.50 per kg of milk solids as cows can be milked during winter to capitalise on winter milk premium, production is 25-30% higher due to less energy expended walking to and fro and the capital cost of the stables are paid for largely by not having to send cows off farm during the 10 week winter period ($300-350 per cow including freight).
The Greens have focused on negative by attacking this farming system as a way to get some oxygen (albeit that it answers all their environmental concerns), people are encouraged to think that free stall stables similar to pigs in crates (nonsense), 3000 submissions have been lodged against the applications on the back of the Greens generated hysteria but Environment Canterbury advise that of those who have submitted only 130 have bothered to view the applicants submissions to understand just what is proposed. I know these things because I am the project director for Southdown Holdings Ltd and Williamson Holdings Ltd, 2 of the applicants.

I encourage all those with genuine interest to view the ECan website and in particular the Farm Environmental Management Plans of SHL, WHL and 5 Rivers prepared by Melissa Robson of GHD. Informed submissions in support are welcome.

6 Responses to MacKenzie dairy development applicant responds

  1. alex Masterely says:

    I’ve thought that the reaction to the applications as notified was somewhat hysterical! So haven’t bought into them.

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  2. Red Rosa says:

    The Greens say – ‘One of the companies, Five Rivers Limited, whose director is Kees Zeestraten, wants to establish seven dairy farms with up to 7000 cows at Ohau Downs near Omarama. Another dairy company owned by Mr Zeestraten, Union Station Dairies in Southland, was this year fined $25,000 for breaching discharge consents.’

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  3. Rimu says:

    Wow, the poor guy can hardly string a sentence together!

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  4. Red Rosa says:

    It is also worth reflecting on the taxpayer contribution to this ‘development.’ It may be as much as $2m per year.

    If the taxpayer is stumping up $30k per year for the average farm under the ETS, and the average dairy farm is 300 cows, then these (18 000!) cow farms are going to be 60 times that. 60*$30k comes to $1.8m. Annually!

    Maybe Mr Peacocke has something to say about that. Or Dr Nick Smith, who pushed this legislation through?

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  5. scott aronsen says:

    Mr Peacock obviously has no understanding of a High Country winter. To state 10 weeks for the winter is absolute rubbish.
    The grass stops growing in April and doesnt start again untill late October/early November which has been the case for the last 5 years. Nor does it take into account the November snow falls that we have had for the last 3 years. Adding to that is the rate of evapouration of moisture lost from the ground during our windy season, which this year has been for 4 months, so the irrigators are going to be going flat stick to keep up. It would seem the consultants who did up the management plans, didnt do enough consulting.
    High Country Resident and proud of it

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  6. Richard Peacocke says:

    In clarification – the 10 week period refers to the period between the time the cows are dried off and they calve – normally referred to as the “wintering off period”. A large number of farmers transport their cows away from their dairy farms to a grazing block during this time in order to protect/increase their available grass until calving.

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