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Waikato Regional Council Manager Environmental Farming Systems, Alan Campbell says sustainable farming practices are continuing to improve in the Waikato Region.
The council aims to promote sustainable farming and displayed their theme competing globally, caring locally, in prime position at the Field Days 2011.
“The message to our farmers is everyone has a role to play in not only managing our environment, but also managing our global markets.”
He says the state of Waikato water ways could be better, but, are improving. The improvement is primarily due to a reduction of point source discharges and the treatment of waste water from towns.
While things have improved, he says, the biggest issue now is the run off from nutrients added to the soil on farms, and the council is working hard with farmers to improve sustainable practices.
On a daily sense we have very little to do with farmers, but there are occasions, where in the background, we are making it possible for farmers to farm, he says
There are a number of farmers in the region who would not be able to farm economically without the council’s help.
Alan says the flood management system is crucial to helping many farmers make the most of their land and work on TB control, soil erosion and rule compliance also contribute to the long term viability of farming in the region.
The council is also focusing on area’s of development in nutrient management as the council and farmers try to keep harmful run off out of water ways.
There are whole range of initiatives relating to nutrient run off and the council works with industry and farmers in a range of ways to reduce effects on water ways.
He says there is also the issue of addressing the waste involved in run off and the council is working with farmers to improve efficiencies as run off is also wasted nutrients which farmers are using, but not benefiting from.