About the project
Funded and supported by DairyNZ, a group of Southland farmers have united to tackle water quality issues in the Aparima Catchment. They’re encouraging Good Farming Practice principles on all 600 properties (of which 218 are dairy farms) in the catchment, aiming to enhance water quality for future generations.
This large-scale project involves farmers, land managers, extension experts (like DairyNZ consulting officers) and scientists. They’re working together to identify, implement and track environmental actions across a wide range of farming properties and land uses. Through modelling and monitoring, the actions of every farm plan will be linked to water quality outcomes.
The Aparima Community Environment Project involves six farmer-led catchment groups, Environment Southland, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Fonterra and Open Country Dairy, plus support from other industry groups.
Over the next two years, all landowners in the Aparima Catchment will form a Farm Environment Plan (FEP), with support from DairyNZ. A key focus will be applying Good Farming Practice principles for planting and feeding winter crops. This includes taking steps to reduce surface runoff. For example, farmers will choose their crop paddock wisely, identify low-lying areas in the paddock and leave these in grass, or graze through the area quickly to reduce pugging and overland flow of sediment into waterways.