The wide range of Waikato Regional Council’s advice and expertise available to help farmers will be on show at Fieldays this year.
The council’s site – number PE36 in the main pavilion – will have staff on hand to answer queries about everyday issues faced by farmers such as:
- managing riparian areas and soil erosion
- plant and animal pests
- shallow lake, wetland and bush restoration projects
- water use.
“The stand will also showcase how we can help with getting on the front foot with environment-related changes, so that farmers are in the best possible position to operate under any new targets and limits designed to protect water quality,” said council chairperson Paula Southgate.
Cr Southgate – who will be attending the Fieldays opening, as well as AgResearch, Federated Farmers and University of Waikato events – will also be on hand at the stand at times, along with any other councillors who drop in.
“We’re a big supporter of economically successful and environmentally sustainable farming in our region. Dairying has been facing some tough times of late and it’s important we help the sector and other farmers weather any difficulties whilst also helping them to be up with the play environmentally.”
Cr Southgate said it was all the more important to be up to speed with such issues given land-based activities in the Waikato and Waipa rivers catchments are due to face new targets and limits to protect water quality. A proposed plan change over these targets and limits is due to be announced early next year.
“Farmers are being encouraged by the council to be on the front foot over making environment-related changes to their operations to help them prepare for whatever is introduced,” said Cr Southgate.
The plan change will target sediment, bacteria and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) entering water bodies (including groundwater) in the two rivers’ catchments, an area of 1.1 million hectares.
More information on the assistance the council and the wider farming sector can provide is available at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/frontfoot/