Managing farms environmentally

JILL GALLOWAY
Last updated 13:21 19/02/2014
 Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre conference
FAITH SUTHERLAND/Fairfax NZ

CONFERENCE: Scientists, students, farmers, and regional council staff listen to speakers at the Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre conference at Massey University yesterday.

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Trying to better manage farms so there is less fertiliser runoff into fresh water is the driver for this year's Massey University Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre conference.

Nutrient management for the farm, catchment and community was the title of the three-day conference, which is held each year.

About 150 people, mostly scientists, but some students and farmers, as well as regional council people from around the country, were there.

Farmers spend about $2 billion a year on fertiliser and this conference is learning about and sharing knowledge on ways to keep it on-farm, rather than have it leaking into waterways.

The regional councils say there are four main pollutants entering waterways from farm activities:

Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Sediment
Faecal matter

Nutrients moves through soil, leaching into ground water.

Sediment makes water murky and affects stream life.

Poor water clarity and faecal matter makes water unsafe for swimming.

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- Manawatu Standard

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