There are many studies linking nitrogen in drinking water to health issues like thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and neural tube defects. READ MORE: * There is no single answer to climate change * Climate change: E-bikes, tiny homes and embracing a life with lower emissions * North Canterbury nitrate reductions may cause financial ruin, some farmers say * Milking it: The true cost of dairy on the environment * South Canterbury dairy farmers could be forced out of the industry * NZ's dairy pollution cost may be $15b: report. This coverage is hurting our export and tourism revenue. Pristine freshwater lakes and rivers are the jewel in our country's crown, the backbone of our ability to portray an authentic clean, healthy, vibrant image to the world. I understand that dairy is interwoven with our cultural identity, and our economy relies heavily on the income it provides. EnviroWalk Assess and improve your farm's environmental performance with the EnviroWalk app. In 2000 there were 23,286 registered dairy production holdings in England and Wales, and today this figure stands at 11,2331. Review of Holsteinization on Intensive Pastoral Dairy Farming in New Zealand B. L. Harris1 and E. S. Kolver2 ... (NZ) dairy cattle population since the late 1960s. It is carried out to meet the rising demand for cheap food and prevent future shortages. "I see housing cows as potentially a good thing with environmental potential but from an economics point of view it's really, really marginal. Intensified dairy farming thus incurs considerable environmental externalities: impacts that are not paid for directly by the dairy farmer. Level 3, Suite 306 Many places with arid temperatures, set to worsen with climate change, are seeing troubling changes - in Otago, rivers are drying up more frequently, and in the Hawkes Bay ground water levels are shrinking. Dairy farms are situated across Britain, but are concentrated mostly in areas where the climate encourages favourable conditions for grassland farming. Seventy-six per cent of native freshwater fish are at risk of extinction, 82 per cent of waterways on farmland are unsafe for swimming, 59 per cent of ground water on farms failed the current standards due to E. Coli and 13 per cent due to nitrates. Many people in New Zealand have reported that clean, healthy waterways are their number one concern for those reasons. Dairy farming In the 1860s and 1870s most Waikato farmers raised cattle and sheep, and grew root and grain crops. We’ll help you up skill and progress further, wherever you are in your career. Intensive farming is the latest technique used to yield high productivity by keeping large number of livestock indoors and using excessive amount of chemical fertilizers on a tiny acreage. Stronger leadership to encourage further focus on per cow production rather than the historic per hectare production is required to achieve both the economic and environmental ambitions of New Zealand. Intensive dairy farming is tarnishing NZ's clean, green image. NZ farming must face up to the future and the first step along the way is to have farming survive without subsidies. If you're going to house your cows you've got to be an exceptionally good operator.". "We need to get back to basics and concentrate on our strength, which is growing grass. I think we've lost sight of that a little bit," Mark Slee said. Since 1994, the number of dairy cattle has increased by 70 per cent and this has had a negative effect on our waterways. Another 2018 study looked at 20 years of data for 2.7 million people and showed there is an increased risk of illnesses with levels of nitrates that are even lower than the national rules currently. The number of dairy farmers in Britain has fallen dramatically over the last decade, and continues to decline. Dairy farming in New Zealand began from small beginnings during the early days of colonisation by Europeans. Mark Slee said farmers in the Netherlands perceived New Zealand farms as highly inefficient, given the reliance on pasture feeding, and thought grass was a poorer quality food. An award-winning dairy farm couple has described walking through "ghost town" dairy farms in the Netherlands, where cows never go outside, and told Parliament's primary production committee that New Zealand needs to promote the benefits and efficiency of pasture-based farming, rather than move to a more European, intensive model. Dairy farm work happens every day of the year as cows need to be milked, fed and cared for. According to Environment Aotearoa, the latest report from the government shows our clean, green, fresh water identity is eroding quickly. These operations are known as AFO or CAFO in the U.S. I know change is hard but intensive dairying is a sunset industry for many reasons - it's not a health food, it requires an extensive amount of water and fertiliser, the effect on our waterways is detrimental and there are uncomfortable animal rights issues. The cornerstone report out today says the industry is not only degrading biodiversity, rivers and lakes, hastening climate change, it also points to our seas as another environmental victim of intensive … Ph: +64 (0)9 307 1629. A young calf (file). Challenges with policy aside, NZ’s dairy industry is holding up very well and the latest price forecasts support that, the mild winter was certainly welcomed by farmers. The banks of dairy companies have taken action after the reducing price of milk solids affected sharemilkers' ability to pay debts. This is a global issue. Our fantastic farming community need better recommendations from outside the industry that relies so heavily on the status quo, with minor tweaks. By Suze Metherell. (FILE PHOTO), Government looks at new fresh water rules, There is no single answer to climate change, Climate change: E-bikes, tiny homes and embracing a life with lower emissions, North Canterbury nitrate reductions may cause financial ruin, some farmers say, Milking it: The true cost of dairy on the environment, South Canterbury dairy farmers could be forced out of the industry, NZ's dairy pollution cost may be $15b: report, drastic change in the way we produce food, GP Deborah Waxman has been the subject of multiple Medical Council complaints - she claims it's 'bullying', Covid-19: UK announces new restrictions for parts of England as new coronavirus strain spreads, Seasonal workers and holidaymakers to displace homeless, Same-sex couple give birth to son and daughter just four days apart, Quiz: Morning trivia quiz: December 20, 2020, Lydia Ko's 32-month winning drought looks likely to end in 2021, Hacked US government networks will need to be burned 'down to the ground', America's Cup: Team NZ books valuable light air experience, John Wharekura, one of New Zealand's youngest killers, denied parole, Trade Me reveals the weird and wonderful gifts trending this Christmas. Over the past two decades there have been major increases in dairy production in New Zealand. Feeding cows supplementary food is expensive, which means farmers need to have more cows to offset the increased costs. "We have issues we need to address around the environmental stuff. Australian farmers are losing the fight against historic drought . Intensive, housed dairy farming doesn't make economic sense in NZ, farmers say. The new State of the Environment report paints a “comprehensively damning” picture of the dairy industry. This increase in intensity has required increased use of external inputs, in particular fertilizer, feed, and water. Elaborated below are … More cows mean more irrigated land. So implementing good dairy farming practice is good risk management for the short and long term future of the dairy farming enterprise. Dairy doesn't fit well with any of those aspects. John Evans commented 2016-12-02 10:31:50 +1300 Increasing productivity (on farms) has been drummed into farmers over the years from everyone from their local Farmlands / PGGW agent to Fonterra, because it boosts the amount of product they buy / have to sell (respectively). Based on these factors it has been concluded that intensive off pasture dairy farming is not sustainable if it was to be encouraged throughout the dairy industry. Surely we need to start changing the way this country produces food for the world so we don't destroy our environment at the expense of the export dollar. Any excess waste must be taken from the farm for disposal, at a cost to the farmer. The income from dairy farming is now a major part of the New Zealand economy, becoming an NZ$13.4 billion industry by 2017. The scale and intensity of dairy farming in New Zealand are driven by global economic circumstances that influence the industry to increase their productivity and profitability by increasing the use of production inputs (e.g., stocking rates and fertiliser use). During the 2012-13 season, Lincoln achieved a profitability margin of more than $4600 a hectare compared with $5200/ha for Melrose Dairy. The process of creating dairy for humans from a cow requires forcibly impregnating cows, and removing the male calves for slaughter. (FILE PHOTO), Some beautiful landscapes rich in dry land plants and animals are unsuitable for dairy conversion and require large scale irrigation. Most dairy farm workers have a work roster that provides regular days off but these are often not in the weekend. Intensive pig farming, also known as pig factory farming is a subset of pig farming and of Industrial animal agriculture, all of which are types of animal husbandry, in which livestock domestic pigs are raised up to slaughter weight. In recent years milk production has gravitated towards the West and South West of England, and West Wales. New Zealand’s climate, soil and abundant water create the perfect environment for growing grass. In the past the dairy co-operative has criticised plans to establish 16 new dairy farms in South Canterbury which would keep 18,000 dairy cows indoors for eight months of the year. In Canada and the UK dairy is no longer a staple nutritional recommendation. Dairy farmers have made significant progress on their commitment to farming within environmental limits. Aside from that, using supplements instead of grass made no difference in dairy production and volume. Even the world's media has picked up on this with the Guardian reporting the bleak findings. However, the report also found emissions from transport, and from wood and coal burning, had declined. But we, as a country, are changing in ways that do not align with our freshwater ideals. "The consumers don't want cows inside," she said. New Zealand needed to boost its publicity and understanding about pasture-fed dairy cows, because the free range method carried a premium price tag in Europe. Habitat protection is critically important to the achievement of Fish & Game’s statutory duty. "We were [in the Netherlands] in the early spring and it was like driving through a ghost town – we saw green fields but no fences, no troughs, because the cows don't actually go outside," Mark Slee said. Intensive farming in our district typically involves pork or poultry production, and in recent times dairy barns have also been established. Killing the golden environmental goose that provides long term gold is a crime against wisdom. The Netherlands, which has low-lying land and water quality issues, mainly houses its dairy cows and has introduced a limit of two cows per hectare to help manage effluent. Pristine freshwater lakes and rivers are the jewel in our country's crown but New Zealand's dairy industry doesn't align with those ideals. The Slees also won the LIC Dairy Farm Award, the PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award and the WaterForce Integrated Management Award last year. Article - BusinessDesk Intensive, housed dairy farming doesn't make economic sense in NZ, farmers say. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald ... "Canterbury seems to me a classic example where water didn't need to be treated but after a decade or more of intensive dairy farming, ... having this debate about water quality for two decades now and still our catchments and rivers are being degraded by intensive farming. In intensive dairy farms, all three of these are compromised by periods of confinement in indoor housing, health problems due to higher milk yields and distress caused by early separation from their calves. New Zealand’s diary industry plays such a significant part to New Zealand’s economy - this we know well - but it also plays an important role in our beef production. 1010, Auckland, NZ, 0800 843 627 This related to cutting up grass for silage, which affects grass quality. Intensive, housed dairy farming doesn't make economic sense in NZ, farmers say. Dairy Farming You’ll learn the lot - from animal health and milk quality to game changing technology and business management. "Feed efficiency in New Zealand is a lot better because we've got a better climate, we've got a temperate climate generally," Mark Slee said. A 2006 study found Canterbury had the world's highest incidence of Crohn's disease. By Suze Metherell. 8 Commerce Street Good dairy farming practice also ensures that the milk is produced by healthy animals in a manner that is sustainable and responsible from the animal welfare, social, economic and environmental perspectives. There’s a pervading sense that farming as we know it is under threat – that the walls are closing in. Ashburton-based dairy farmers Mark and Devon Slee, winners of the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards, told the select committee their tour of European dairy farms showed housing cows and relying on supplements doesn't necessarily boost production or complement New Zealand's own pasture-based feeding system. The dairy farmers thought that Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's largest dairy exporter, should move to a tiered payment system, which would pay more for pasture-based cows and should also include incentives for sustainable farming. 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