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Published: 2011-02-28 00:00:00

A comprehensive land and water strategy for sustainable agriculture will be a major area of work for Environment Waikato in the next financial year, and will need to take into account a wide range of economic and environmental issues. 

Presentations at the environment committee this month set the scene for tackling the region’s most important environmental and economic issue, last Thursday’s council meeting heard.

Environment committee chairperson Jane Hennebry said, “The high-quality presentations to the committee outlined the need for profitable dairy systems with reduced environmental impact.”

The environment committee presentations focused on:

  • The importance of agriculture to our economy, and the need to protect our natural resources and the biological value chain that our country depends upon.
  • The quality of our water, that is excellent in some places but poorer in areas of intensive farming where nitrogen and phosphorous levels have increased steadily.
  • Research by the dairy industry to manage its environmental impact through a number of options including farm systems changes and the adoption of best practice.