Some 6.6m cattle are … Intensive dairy farming is tarnishing NZ's clean, green image. In the Summer of 2012, Compassion in World Farming’s investigation team went undercover in over 50 farms in Germany, Denmark and Spain to highlight the welfare problems faced by Europe’s cows. Our district has the highest number of pork producers in the country (although not the largest volume produced) as well as a significant number of poultry farms. 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. New Zealand’s climate, soil and abundant water create the perfect environment for growing grass. The Slees also won the LIC Dairy Farm Award, the PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award and the WaterForce Integrated Management Award last year. By Suze Metherell. 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. 1010, Auckland, NZ, 0800 843 627 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. During the 2012-13 season, Lincoln achieved a profitability margin of more than $4600 a hectare compared with $5200/ha for Melrose Dairy. More cows mean more irrigated land. Ov… Source: istock.com Australian farmers are losing the fight against historic drought . Elaborated below are … The NZ Farm Environment Trust oversees the awards, which are sponsored by Ballance Agri-Nutrient, the Tauranga-based cooperative farming supplies business. There’s a pervading sense that farming as we know it is under threat – that the walls are closing in. EnviroWalk Assess and improve your farm's environmental performance with the EnviroWalk app. 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. Killing the golden environmental goose that provides long term gold is a crime against wisdom. Our cows can access pasture year-round following their natural inclinations to be outside. Feeding cows supplementary food is expensive, which means farmers need to have more cows to offset the increased costs. 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. 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 income from dairy farming is now a major part of the New Zealand economy, becoming an NZ$13.4 billion industry by 2017. Farming came under the spotlight, with a worsening in the quality in rivers as a result of intensely farmed land, and more than 75 percent of soils under dairying being badly affected by compaction. 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. Our fantastic farming community need better recommendations from outside the industry that relies so heavily on the status quo, with minor tweaks. Even the world's media has picked up on this with the Guardian reporting the bleak findings. We’ll help you up skill and progress further, wherever you are in your career. Over the last fifty years, dairy farming has become more intensive to increase the amount of milk produced by each cow. 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 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. Intensive, housed dairy farming doesn't make economic sense in NZ, farmers say. Habitat protection is critically important to the achievement of Fish & Game’s statutory duty. Dairy farming In the 1860s and 1870s most Waikato farmers raised cattle and sheep, and grew root and grain crops. The new State of the Environment report paints a “comprehensively damning” picture of the dairy industry. Canterbury has major issues with nitrates and the 1.3 million dairy cows being farmed on unsuitable land could be a contributing factor. 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. "We're getting to a point now where there is a cost to the environment if we push things too hard," he said. A Taranaki dairy farmer who broke the tails of 136 dairy cows has been fined $40,000 and put under intensive supervision. 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). Intensive farming consents scrutinised 24 Feb, 2017 06:27 PM 3 minutes to read Horizons water quality scientist Logan Brown was out testing Rangitikei River water in 2012. (FILE PHOTO), Kiwi farmers deserve pathways to diversify so they can stay ahead of the economic, environmental, climate change and animal ethics changes. 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. In China, one of our country's main export for dairy, four out of five people have some form of lactose intolerance. However, the report also found emissions from transport, and from wood and coal burning, had declined. So implementing good dairy farming practice is good risk management for the short and long term future of the dairy farming enterprise. Dairy Farming You’ll learn the lot - from animal health and milk quality to game changing technology and business management. In Canada and the UK dairy is no longer a staple nutritional recommendation. These operations are known as AFO or CAFO in the U.S. Dutch dairy packaging would still show pictures of cows outside and in paddocks, Devon Slee said. OPINION: As the Government looks at new fresh water rules New Zealand has to discuss the elephant in the room; the industry that we are best known for - the dairy industry. New Zealand's dairy farmers are some of the hardest working, kindest, most adaptable people in the country. The 2018 Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change report calls for drastic change in the way we produce food to move towards better individual health, reduction in water use, GHG emissions, and environmental stewardship. 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. NZ farming must face up to the future and the first step along the way is to have farming survive without subsidies. The New Zealand dairy industry is based almost exclusively on cattle, with a total population of 4.8 million milking cows as of 2017. The number of dairy farmers in Britain has fallen dramatically over the last decade, and continues to decline. There are many studies linking nitrogen in drinking water to health issues like thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and neural tube defects. Compassion in World Farming has long called for Europe’s cows to be given the same species specific protection that is afforded other EU farm animals, such as pigs and hens. Scrub where sheep once grazed is being given over to intensive dairy farms—some of them irrigated to help the pasture grow. Dairy farms are situated across Britain, but are concentrated mostly in areas where the climate encourages favourable conditions for grassland farming. This related to cutting up grass for silage, which affects grass quality. Some beautiful landscapes rich in dry land plants and animals, like Mackenzie Country and Canterbury plains, are unsuitable for dairy conversion and require large scale irrigation. Dairy farming in New Zealand began from small beginnings during the early days of colonisation by Europeans. I understand that dairy is interwoven with our cultural identity, and our economy relies heavily on the income it provides. This image is worth billions to our tourism and export trade and people want to visit this paradise and consume our food products. Dairy doesn't fit well with any of those aspects. Article - BusinessDesk Intensive, housed dairy farming doesn't make economic sense in NZ, farmers say. 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. Dutch dairy packaging would still show pictures of cows outside and in paddocks, Devon Slee said. Achilles House "I see housing cows as potentially a good thing with environmental potential but from an economics point of view it's really, really marginal. Higher milk yield. But we, as a country, are changing in ways that do not align with our freshwater ideals. Since 1994, the number of dairy cattle has increased by 70 per cent and this has had a negative effect on our waterways. Ph: +64 (0)9 307 1629. 8 Commerce Street 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. 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). I've come to realise that we cannot have a conversation about individual health without it matching the health of our ecosystem. This coverage is hurting our export and tourism revenue. 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. Intensive, housed dairy farming doesn't make economic sense in NZ, farmers say. The process of creating dairy for humans from a cow requires forcibly impregnating cows, and removing the male calves for slaughter. By Suze Metherell. If you're going to house your cows you've got to be an exceptionally good operator.". Intensified dairy farming thus incurs considerable environmental externalities: impacts that are not paid for directly by the dairy farmer. According to Environment Aotearoa, the latest report from the government shows our clean, green, fresh water identity is eroding quickly. This ultimately results in more effluent adding to environmental issues, the Slees found. (FILE PHOTO), Some beautiful landscapes rich in dry land plants and animals are unsuitable for dairy conversion and require large scale irrigation. In 2000 there were 23,286 registered dairy production holdings in England and Wales, and today this figure stands at 11,2331. More than 200 wetlands have been drained in the last 20 years and another 700 have been partially destroyed. Level 3, Suite 306 Many people in New Zealand have reported that clean, healthy waterways are their number one concern for those reasons. They deserve pathways to diversify so they can stay ahead of the economic, environmental, climate change and animal ethics curve ball that will be thrown at them over the coming years. Dairy farmers have made significant progress on their commitment to farming within environmental limits. 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. 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. "We have issues we need to address around the environmental stuff. "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. Most dairy farm workers have a work roster that provides regular days off but these are often not in the weekend. From 1882 refrigerated shipping allowed perishable goods to be sent to Britain, where there was a growing market for butter and cheese. 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. 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. A 2006 study found Canterbury had the world's highest incidence of Crohn's disease. Over the past two decades there have been major increases in dairy production in New Zealand. Aside from that, using supplements instead of grass made no difference in dairy production and volume. A young calf (file). New Zealand has a natural advantage in dairy New Zealand is naturally blessed when it comes to making milk. "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. 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. The Slees' 1014 hectare Melrose Dairies farm has 2600 cows and is one of four top privately-run Canterbury farms against which Lincoln University measures the performance of its dairying operations. The SPCA says Fonterra is damaging New Zealand's international clean, green reputation by expanding its use of intensive indoor dairy farming in China. 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