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Environmental research on the new Lincoln University dairy farm

Cameron, Keith
Di, Hong
Moir, James
Russell, J
Barnett, J
Conference Contribution - published
Fields of Research
A major challenge to the New Zealand’s growing dairy industry is to achieve an annual productivity gain of 4% in order to remain internationally competitive. However, it is important to ensure that this productivity gain is achieved without significantly comprising the quality and integrity of New Zealand’s “clean and green” environment. There is increasing public concern about the effects of dairying on the environment, both within New Zealand and by our overseas customers. One of the main concerns is the possible threat to the quality of groundwater and surface water, particularly by nitrate, phosphate and microbial contaminants. Nitrate leaching from soil is of concern because of its impact on drinking water quality and the effects that nitrate can have on rivers and lakes. A high nitrate concentration in drinking water is a recognised health hazard and a high concentration in rivers and lakes can cause excessive growth of algae and weeds, which may reduce the fish population. Nitrate leaching also represents a financial cost to the farmer and a loss in soil fertility. The establishment of the new Lincoln University dairy farm is designed to enable us to develop and test practical methods to improve productivity and at the same time protect the environment. The objective of the environmental project on the new Lincoln University dairy farm is to develop best management practices under irrigation which will ensure that the dairy industry’s 4% productivity gain is achieved in a sustainable way, and that the wider environment is protected.
Source DOI
© 2008 by South Island Dairy Event (SIDE).
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