Canterbury Regional Council says it is pleasing no dairy farms had to be prosecuted for a lack of compliance with environmental standards this year.
Council officers visited more than 1000 dairy farms in Canterbury and found over 70-percent fully complied with the conditions of their dairy effluent consents.
Seven abatement and 13 infringement notices were issued. . .
Canterbury’s dairy farmers 72 percent full effluent compliance result, with no prosecutions, for the 2013/14 season shows they are taking their responsibilities seriously and the hard work is paying off.
“Firstly, I would like to congratulate the 1093 dairy farms in Canterbury that have made this happen,” says Jessie Chan-Dorman, Federated Farmers mid-Canterbury Dairy Chair.
“Farmers have really stepped up and are making adjustments to meet conditions in their effluent consents. Whilst we are not at 100 percent full compliance yet, we are seeing a positive trend with a reduction in the level of non-compliance.
“This has by no means been easy, but there has been a lot of investment by farmers, and support through industry initiatives, such as the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord and the Canterbury Dairy Effluent Group, which have pooled resources to help drive change within the industry.
“The proof is in the pudding, where farmers have been much more proactive and meticulous in understanding and adhering to the conditions in their effluent consents.
“Effluent compliance is not a one day a week job; it is seven days a week 52 weeks of the year, so full compliance for 2013/14 being 32 percent higher than in 2008 is a huge feat. We are pleased to see the positive trend.
“We are moving to the next step now with effluent where it is not just about compliance. There are economic benefits on-farm if we can use effluent wisely as a nutrient source.
“Now that we have better outcomes with our use of effluent, the next challenge for Canterbury dairy farmers will be nutrient management, especially in the face of the Land and Water Regional Plan and the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.
“I know we will see continued improvement if we are to reach realistic targets and time frames,” concluded Mrs Chan-Dorman.
This confirms my observations of a change in attitude and practice by farmers to ensure they are doing all they can to protect and enhance the environment.
There’s been a lot of work done to ensure compliance with effluent consents and reduce leaching of nutrients and all the farms in our area have fenced waterways and carried out riparian planting.