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More support for Otago farmers to improve water quality

Land & Water

Dairy farmers in Otago are receiving more support to meet upcoming water quality rules through a series of DairyNZ ‘EnviroReady’ field days being held with the support of Federated Farmers and Beef + Lamb.

More than 200 farmers and rural professionals attended four recent field days in both north and south Otago, with the last one being held this week at Elderslie, near Oamaru.

DairyNZ’s sustainability team manager Theresa Wilson says the farmers were given an understanding of new regional environmental rules and regulations presented by Federated Farmers’ policy staff.

“We also presented information to help them understand nutrient budgets and nutrient management using the modelling tool Overseer. DairyNZ has produced a guide to nutrient management for farmers, and a good management practice guide to reducing nutrient loss,” she says.

A new DairyNZ water quality project being carried out in partnership with the Otago Regional Council was also launched at the events. DairyNZ water quality specialists Shirley Hayward and Justin Kitto are leading the project to help farmers understand how to undertake water quality monitoring and comply with the upcoming discharge rules.

The host farms for the field days will be the monitor farms for the water quality project.

Theresa says that farmers would like more field days on good management practices including good effluent system designs and good management of day-to-day operations. .

“We have now decided to run more of these field days in March in response to that feedback from farmers. It’s great to see how keen they are to take the learnings back to their farms to put into action,” she says.

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