A Sustainable Milk Plan is a free farm environment plan, personalised to your farm, which helps you focus on environmentally sustainable farming practices.
During a one-on-one visit, a consultant helps you to benchmark your farm by assessing your business for environmental risks and identifying where improvements can be made. This allows you to prioritise and plan for the future. Ongoing support helps you to evaluate progress and revise goals.
Contracted Waipa consultants:
- Ballance Agri-Nutrients
- Dairy solutions
- Mark Robinson
- Nutrient Management Services Ltd.
- Rural Business Solutions
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the Waipa catchment chosen for this project?
The Waipa River was chosen because restoring its water quality will have a large, positive impact on the Waikato River. The Waipa catchment is the largest tributary of the Waikato River. It faces significant water quality challenges from both historic land management decisions (e.g. erosion and resulting sediment issues in the river and its tributaries) and continued intensification of agriculture.
The Waipa SMP project builds on the success of the Upper Waikato project and is part of the dairy industry’s on-going commitment to a cleaner Waikato River.
Is this project supported by the Waikato Regional Council?
Yes, the Council is very supportive of the project and is represented on the Steering Group.
Why is the Waikato River Authority supporting it?
The Waipa River is significant to the WRA and over time, the collective actions of 285 farmers in the catchment will make a real difference to the environmental health of the Waipa and the Waikato Rivers. The Authority is charged by the government with supporting projects to clean up the river.
Who is paying for the project?
The project is funded by the Waikato River Authority. And of course, farmers that are making changes on farm are also contributing.
What are the targets for the Waipa catchment?
No nutrient or sediment targets have been set for the Waipa catchment. There are a number of rules in the existing Waikato Regional Plan that are relevant to the catchment. There is also the Waikato Regional Council Waipa Catchment Plan which sets the overall direction for protecting and restoring the Waipa catchment. The Waipa SMP steering group has developed a series of targets to guide farmer action. These can be found here.
Does the wider community know about this project?
Yes. The industry is keen to demonstrate that farmers are taking voluntary action to reduce the environmental impacts of dairy farming, and that many farmers are already strongly committed to good environmental management.
Who is contributing to the success of the Waipa SMP project?
Steering group members
Brett Alexandra Fonterra Richard Allen Fonterra Wade Bell DairyNZ Grant Blackie Waikato Regional Council Mike Bramley DairyNZ Alan Campbell Waikato Regional Council John Fairweather Open Country Jacqui Hahn Federated farmers John Haywood Catchment farmer Lisa te Heuheu Raukawa Charitable Trust Monique Houghton Open Country Edward Hardie NZIPIM/LIC Ngahuia Herangi Maniapoto Trust Tim Manakau Waikato-Tainui Mike Manning Ravensdown Ian Power Ballance Liz Stolwyk Waipa District Council Teresa Tarr Ravensdown John Vosper Waikato Regional Council
Key DairyNZ staff
Mike Bramley - Project leader and manager
Mike has a Bachelor of Agriculture from Massey University. He has worked as a consulting officer in the Waikato and on the South Island’s West Coast and has a range of experience in farm systems and the environment. He has been involved in the Sustainable Milk Plan process from the beginning and helped a number of farmers in the Upper Waikato. Mike is also supporting dairy farmers in the Waikato Regional Council’s Healthy Rivers Plan for Change process.
If you have a question about this project that is not covered above, please email project manager Mike Bramley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions will be answered as quickly as possible and, if appropriate, will be posted on this site.
DairyNZ with funding from the Waikato River Authority and support from Fonterra, OCD, Miraka and Waikato Regional Council, is assisting with the delivery of Sustainable Milk Plans (SMPs) in the Waipa catchment.