Farming for the environment

Environment Canterbury (ECan) has released the Canterbury Region Dairy Report for the 2010/2011 season which provides commentary and regional details that expand on the preliminary compliance figures released in July, showing poor Kaikoura area compliance.
Sixty-five per cent of Canterbury dairy farms were fully compliant with their effluent discharge consent or permitted activity conditions in 2010/2011, an improvement from 59 per cent compliance in the previous season. In total, 917 dairy farms, out of 921, received a consent compliance visit by an ECan resource management officer.
Ashburton, which has 32 per cent of Canterbury's dairy farms, recorded the highest level of full dairy effluent compliance at 75 per cent, compared with Kaikoura's 58 per cent compliance.
Kaikoura ECan manager Kevin Heays said he was disappointed with the figures for Kaikoura's non-compliance, however he said the situation was better than it had been in previous years. Mr Heays said he looked forward to a vast improvement by June next year, when it will become law to keep stock out of waterways. He hoped for "the ultimate" by then, which would be 100 per cent compliance.
ECan commissioner Tom Lambie said unannounced compliance visits were an important means of assessing the environmental performance of farms.
"This proactive monitoring approach is supplemented by our response to complaints from members of the public about potential environment breaches.
"In addition to checking dairy effluent compliance the resource management officers typically check a range of factors which have the potential to impact on waterways, such as effluent discharges to water or run-off from farm tracks."