As part of the Governance Group developing the action plan, DairyNZ says the initiative is significant because it has been developed and agreed on between central and local government, and the primary sector.
“This partnership approach is essential to achieve improved water quality outcomes, a goal shared by all,” says Dr David Burger, DairyNZ strategy and investment leader – responsible dairy.
“Many farmers have already undertaken a huge amount of work to improve their farm environmental practices over the last decade, including stock exclusion from waterways, effluent management and nutrient management, and this action plan will build on that.”
The action plan’s 21 principles include actions around nutrient management, minimising risks to water quality, managing land and soil risks, ensuring effluent systems are adequate and managing irrigation.
“Farm plans will continue to have practical, specific actions for each property, taking into consideration climate, soil and the farm system,” says Dr Burger. “But those actions will align with the national set of principles set out by this action plan and be targeted toward the key things which will make the biggest difference in each catchment and across all land users.”
The action plan’s principles build on previous work led by farmers and industry, and allow each region or catchment to prioritise and target the key actions most likely to make a difference to local water quality.
“This new action plan cements the ongoing importance of this work, and our commitment to achieve good farming practices across all farms,” says Dr Burger.
“The collective actions implemented on-farm will be monitored and reported on – so collectively, we will be able to show just how much is going on regionally and nationally to reduce dairy’s impact on water quality.”
Find out more about the Good Farming Practice Action Plan for Water Quality at www.fedfarm.org.nz.
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