Sustainable Dairying Water Accord

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Why does the company need to follow the “Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord”?
Water is necessary in dairy farm activities for growing grass, washing down milking areas and cooling the milk. Being an area of low annual rainfall in Hastings District, the company is applying for water rights to use the water from a local river. The river has acceptable microbiological water quality currently although several tributaries have high numbers of indicator bacteria. The National Policy Statement for fresh water management, 2014, states the need to maintain or improve the overall quality of water within a region by 2030 (2). Therefore, the company is obliged to follow the “Sustainable Dairying Water Accord” which mentions installing irrigation systems
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Concentrations of minerals and bacteria are consistently high in irrigation run-off and it is the major source of contamination of the streams. If high volumes of run-off flows into streams, water quality of those streams decline (14). Irrigation practices which can effectively control the volume of irrigation run-off draining into the streams have been proven to have a large effect on improving the water quality of local rivers and tributaries with minimal costs (14). Using a stand-off pad or wintering pad is another option to control soil damage and reduce the transfer of nitrogen and faecal materials into waterways (16). A stand-off pad is a built area where dairy cows are withheld from gazing during wet periods to control the damage to the soil. A wintering pad is a kind of stand-off pad with an additional space for feeding (17). A study on a Waikato dairy farm also proved that bark and sawdust, which are easily available from a nearby environment, are effective to use as stand-off materials with effective retention of excreta nitrogen and faecal materials (16). A Matamata dairy farm which use stand-off pad reduces the volume of nitrogen leaching from its paddocks to 40% below the regional average (18). By preventing the cows from extreme temperature and returning collected effluent to soil, stand-off pad has additional benefits of increasing milk production and reducing the cost for artificial fertiliser (18). A study, which was done in Southern New Zealand, suggests that 23% of Nitrogen leaching loses can be prevented by a winter pad system with only a 3% reduction in farm earnings (19). The use of nitrification inhibitors (such as dicyandiamide applied twice a year to the pasture on the dairy milking

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