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Upper Waikato dairy support study: environmental impact, mitigation effectiveness and associated cost

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Report: TR 2015/14

Author: Perrin Ag Consultants Ltd

About this report

Dairy support is a significant land use in the Upper Waikato catchment, and is an essential component of both the dairy and drystock industries. However there has been little work carried out to understand its environmental footprint and how the impact of dairy support can be mitigated.

Waikato Regional Council contracted a case study of farms in the catchment that are considered to be representative of businesses undertaking dairy support activity.  The study and analysis aims to identify the following:

  • The base level of nitrogen leaching, phosphorus run off and sediment and micro-organism losses from dairy support farms/dairy support blocks in the Upper Waikato.
  • Mitigations that will reduce the environmental footprint from dairy support units – specifically nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment, and microbial impacts on water quality.
  • Possible on-farm mitigations to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microbe losses, and to quantify the financial cost of implementing those mitigations.

Read or download the report

Upper Waikato dairy support study: environmental impact, mitigation effectiveness and associated cost (3mb)

Contents

  Executive summary
  A note regarding the modelling of phosphorus, sediment and microbial organisms
  A note regarding cropping models in Overseer version 6 1 3
1 Background and terms of reference
2 Methodology
3 The case studies
4 Results
5 Discussion
6 Conclusions and recommendations
  References
  Appendix 1: Case Study A - Pumice Dairy Heifer Grazing
  Appendix 2: Case Study B: Pumice Maize Cropping
  Appendix 3: Farmer C: Pumice Dairy Heifer Grazing – Predominantly Pasture
  Appendix 4: Case Study D: Pumice Dairy Heifer Grazing
  Appendix 5: Case Study E: Pumice MA Winter Cow Grazing – Predominantly Pasture
  Appendix 6: Case Study F: Pumice MA Winter Cow Grazing – Predominantly Supplements
  Appendix 7: Case Study G: Allophanic Dairy Heifer Grazing – Pasture/Cropping
  Appendix 8: Case Study H: Allophanic MA Winter Cow Grazing – Pasture and Cropping
  Appendix 9: Farmer I: Allophanic – Maize Cropping
  Appendix 10: Farmer J: Allophanic MA Winter Cow Grazing – Predominantly pasture
  Appendix 11: Farmer K: Allophanic Heifer Replacement Grazing – Predominantly Pasture
  Appendix 12: Case study costs and prices

       

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