We suggest that you use these next two months to actively manage your effluent pond level before it becomes too wet to irrigate. Using every opportunity to irrigate and lower your pond will allow for more storage capacity through the winter and spring.
Last year we had a long period of low soil moisture deficit with very few irrigation days available and ponds became very full around August and September. This significantly increases the risk of the effluent getting into waterways, which is something we as an industry need to avoid.
What's the risk to my farm?
Overflowing ponds and spreading effluent onto saturated soils can result in surface ponding, groundwater contamination or run-off into waterways. This will also significantly increase the risk of enforcement action should your regional council identify these issues while undertaking an inspection.
The dairy industry expects dairy farmers to be compliant 365 days a year so we can demonstrate we are showing good environmental stewardship.
If I'm facing this issue what can I do?
Understand your soil moisture deficit and how much you can irrigate
Look on the regional council’s website to get an indication when to irrigate or not.
Understand the regulations from your regional council
Understand your consent or permitted activity rule.
Understand the share-milker agreements relating to the effluent system
Agreements can specify what is required around irrigation leading up to the end of the agreement.
Reduce water entering into your effluent system
If your pond is higher than normal, look at the inputs to the pond and try to minimise them.
Have excess effluent removed from your pond and property
Use contractors to help reduce pond levels and your risk, but contractors must comply with regional council rules.
If you are having concerns or are uncertain of what to do, please contact:
|DairyNZ||03 218 2274|
|Fonterra||Cain - 027 703 1743
Brian - 027 703 6550
|Open Country||Myles - 021 222 4263
Carl - 021 868 762
|Environment Southland||0800 768 845|