Dairy giant Fonterra are committed to "lifting environmental performance" to ensure New Zealand preserves it's clean green image. Nitrogen - in the form of nitrate - is so soluble that I think of it as the 'elusive' pollutant.''. The number of dairy cows in New Zealand has risen by 69% nationally in the past two decades and by up to 500% in some regions such as Canterbury, Southland, and Nelson. Water spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said nitrate pollution in Canterbury's rivers, lakes and streams was predicted to increase by 45 per cent between 1996 and 2020. This increase in intensity has required increased use of external inputs, in particular fertilizer, feed, and water. Water quality in dairy farming areas has increasingly been the focus of attention in New Zealand as more land is converted to dairying and the intensity of operations increases. Likewise, phosphorus loads are expected to increase in Canterbury by three per cent between 2008 to 2020. He called for a regulation of the dairy industry. study of the intensification of dairy farming in New Zealand and its detrimental environmental impacts such as nitrate leaching to streams and rivers, methane gas emissions, demands for surface and groundwater for irrigation and reduced variety in pastoral All agricultural industries carry some responsibility and where the dairy industry has been regulated to help mitigate declining water quality, no such regulations exist for beef, sheep or deer farming. The Waikato River has had a long history of water pollution and now fails health regulations for human contact. The New Zealand government's decision to partner the farming sector to encourage voluntary reductions in farm emissions failed to acknowledge that agricultural emissions also affect water … "If the Government and the dairy industry fail to act on the warnings in this report they will essentially be giving two fingers to the next generation. According to the report, some  283,700 hectares of land has been converted to dairy between 1996 and 2008, at the same time sheep/beef farming land decreased by nearly 500,000ha. There are many things you can do on farm to improve or maintain water quality. The government's plans for new rules and regulations to halt declining water quality are in the final stages of development, but some farmers fear that unless there are changes to those proposals, they will have to give up farming. "Further unregulated dairy expansion is not in the best interest of our economy or our environment. Insight - New Zealanders value freshwater - so much so that four out of five people say it is their biggest environmental worry. “Dairy has contributed to the degradation of almost every environmental metric in New Zealand, including filling the marine environment with sediment.” Greenpeace is calling for the Government to eliminate synthetic nitrogen fertiliser to cut pollution and reverse dairy expansion. This report draws together monitoring data from 14 dairy farming catchments in New Zealand to provide a baseline of water quality (and land use) in these catchments to assist with future water-quality trend assessments. This had been economically beneficial to New Zealand and farmers had responded well by managing their impact on water by fencing waterways, managing raceways, tracks, paddocks and effluent, and reducing run-off through riparian planting. Despite dairy being New Zealand’s predominant export industry, there has been no national level analysis on the environmental impacts and costs of dairy farming in New Zealand. Managing farm runoff plays an important part in good farm management. New Zealand’s milking cow population is now 4.8 million, and dairy farming is a major part of the New Zealand economy. In one of the larger cases of manure pollution in recent years, an estimated 15 million gallons of manure, water, and other matter spilled in 2010 into a slough that drains into the Snohomish River in Washington state, when a berm on a dairy farm’s manure lagoon failed. There is no better example of that than promises to make New Zealand's rivers swimmable again. From research and the services we provide, to education, policy and the Dairy Industry Strategy, there's so much to discover in this section. As a reaction to this campaign Fonterra, the largest dairy company in New Zealand, along with a number of government agencies instigated the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord to address water pollution due to dairy farming. Calls to limit dairy conversions are being made in the wake of a new report confirming fears dairying is polluting waterways. The villain, of course, is the dairy farmer. When asked to quantify the water pollution created by dairy farms, Mr Engel responded, "I don't see where they are." "Fonterra and our farmers have undertaken a significant amount of work to protect waterways, but we recognise there is more to do," said Muller. "New Zealanders want to be able to swim in our rivers," Sage said. New Zealand has had a reputation for being ‘clean and green’ – a country of environmental beauty. Dairy farm pollution limits an 'assault on the regions': Bridges ... we all catch a cold," Bridges told Radio New Zealand this morning. Our rivers, lakes, and streams are being polluted and too much water is being taken from them. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment today released a report on water quality which highlights how the country is facing a ''classic economy versus environment dilemma''. The ford consisted of New Zealand freshwater quality has declined, and dairy farming is one identified contributor to this decline. “Dairy has contributed to the degradation of almost every environmental metric in New Zealand, including filling the marine environment with sediment.” Greenpeace is calling for the Government to eliminate synthetic nitrogen fertiliser to cut pollution and reverse dairy expansion. For example, in a river that flows swiftly to the sea, nitrogen and dissolved phosphorus in the water stays low because of its frequent flushing. Fonterra group director cooperative affairs Todd Muller said the organisation shared Wright's concerns about the pressure on the country's waterways and recognised they role they had in improving water quality. The Environment section covers information about effluent, land, water and nutrient management on dairy farms. Intensive dairy farming practices has led to water pollution from cattle effluent in many of the streams and rivers in New Zealand. Animal management is a critical component of farm profitability and sustainability. While dairy farming is a contributor to declining water quality it is not the only one. Most pregnancy losses occur in the first week after breeding. of several Ecosystem Services such as clean air and water. In response to environmental concerns about farming, the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord is established with the goal to reduce the level of water pollution. Dairy farm pollution limits an 'assault on the regions': Bridges ... we all catch a cold," Bridges told Radio New Zealand this morning. Keeping stock out of waterway margins and wet areas such as drains, seeps and wetlands reduces stock losses, improves stock management and health, and improves water quality. Maximise the success of your riparian planting by following these steps for how, when and what to plant beside waterways. "It [the report] serves as a stark warning that the nation is at a crossroads; we can either continue with the Government's and primary production sector's agenda of doubling agricultural output by 2025 - completely wrecking the environment, our waterways, our estuaries and beaches, our tourism sector, our international brand, and the kiwi way of life in the process - or we can look at smarter ways to grow the economy.". These include, disposing of town sewage and dairy shed effluent on to land to use as a fertiliser, nutrient budgeting, fencing streams and bridging crossings. ", Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright. Invasive species of fish and plants are still a major problem. This increase in intensity has required increased use of external inputs, in particular fertilizer, feed, and water. This research provides insight into dairy farmers responses to the water quality interventions introduced to mitigate diffuse pollution, and the socio-cultural dynamics that shaped their responses. Dr Jan Wright said the conversion of beef and sheep farming to dairy farming land had increased nutrient loads on waterways. New Zealand Bemoans Water Pollution, but Won't Limit Dairy ... lost because the level of pollution in waterways has increased as farming intensifies." The Dairying and Clean Streams Accord is the main driver for assembling the information provided in this report. This report draws together monitoring data from 14 dairy farming catchments in New Zealand to provide a baseline of water quality (and land use) in these catchments to assist with future water-quality trend assessments. Tait and Cullen (2006) priced some external costs of dairy farming in Canterbury over four cost categories on the damage to: water resources, air resources, ecosystem Is elevated blood BHB a suitable indicator of poor performance in grazing cows? Water is valued highly by New Zealanders, whether it’s for sport and recreation, cultural significance, beautiful landscapes or wildlife habitats. It passes through the highly productive Waikato region, where dairy farming is a common land use. Intensified dairy farming thus incurs considerable environmental externalities: impacts that are not paid for directly by the dairy farmer. Calls to limit dairy conversions are being made in the wake of a new report confirming fears dairying is polluting waterways. Intensified dairy farming thus incurs considerable environmental externalities: impacts that are not paid for directly by the dairy farmer. Will feeding starch-based supplements improve reproduction? The effect of increased nutrient loads on water depends on it vulnerability. … Pastoral farming – which accounts for 40 percent of New Zealand’s land area – is undoubtedly the main source of diffuse pollution. Dairy farm pollution and the environment Dismissive practices by large farms actively harm the environment. Conversely, regulation in agriculture was commonplace in most first world countries at this time. Find out how to protect productive farmland and avoid waterway contamination by controlling erosion. Compared to many countries in the world, this is true. Improve pasture production, stock health and soil moisture by managing drains well. Fonterra highlighted that the report recognised that water quality had been shaped by cumulative effects of increased land use by various industries. ''Unfortunately, if we continue to see large-scale conversion of land to more intensive uses, it is difficult to see how water quality will not continue to decline in the next few years. This short clip outlines some of the key issues for our rivers, our climate and our farmers. Canterbury, which has highest rate of converted land, had a 27 per cent increase in nitrogen loads between 1996 to 2008. New Zealand has nearly five million cows, more than its human population of about 4.7 million. ''Ongoing and increasing nutrient loads will generally lead to worsening water quality - more degraded lakes, more turbid (cloudy) estuaries, greater frequency and duration of algal blooms at swimming spots and elsewhere, declines in the insects, fish and birds that rely on these ecosystems, and more water wells and surface water that exceed nitrate toxicity limits for drinking,'' she said. Even with best practice mitigation, the large-scale conversion of more land to dairy farming will generally result in more degraded fresh water.''. Advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell said the PCE report confirmed what everyone knew - that dairying conversion rates could not go on without causing a "dramatic reduction" in water quality. Benefit from safer, less stressful travel by considering these factors when constructing farm crossings. 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