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Environmental tool kit guides dairy farmers

Published: Tue 31 Oct 2006 02:57 PM
31 October 2006
Environmental tool kit guides dairy farmers in best practice
The recent regional council results on dairy effluent compliance highlight the importance of this issue to the dairy industry and now dairy farmers have a new tool to help them tackle effluent and other on-farm environmental issues.
Revised on-farm environmental best practice manuals were released today under the Dairy Industry Strategy for Sustainable Environmental Management. The manuals provide guidelines to farmers and rural professionals on the practical, effective and safe management of farm practices that may affect the environment.
The 'Managing Farm Dairy Effluent' manual provides an in-depth guide to managing dairy effluent on farms, while the 'Farm Management Issues' manual provides guidance and practical advice on issues ranging from nutrient management to irrigation and water quality.
The original manuals were produced in the mid-1990s and were recognised as a valuable resource to the dairy industry. Fonterra has recently co-ordinated the revision of these manuals with funding from New Zealand dairy farmers through Dairy InSight. Dairy farmers, Regional Councils and rural professionals also gave extensive input to the updates.
"We need to make sure that all dairy farmers have the right tools and knowledge to help them manage the impact dairying has on our environment. These manuals are a good example of combined industry efforts to achieve this goal and show that there is a real commitment to support sustainable dairy farming in New Zealand," says Barry Harris, Director of Fonterra Milk Supply.
"Most farmers see the value in protecting the environment. That's showing through in the good progress we are making in meeting targets under the Clean Streams Accord, such as nutrient budgeting. We now want to see the same sort of progress being made in effluent management."
Farmers and rural professionals will be introduced to the manuals today at a workshop hosted by Fonterra and Dairy InSight, where they will hear industry perspectives on sustainable environmental management with particular emphasis on effluent management. Further workshops will be held in Manawatu and the South Island later this year to introduce rural professionals throughout the country to the updated manuals.
The manuals are available on CD from Fonterra by contacting Alex O'Connell at alex.oconnell@fonterra.com and will soon be available on www.envirodirect.co.nz .
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