Water quality key issue farmers face

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 10/05/2014

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Southland's water quality filtered through at the Southland Federated Farmers annual meeting.

Southland Federated Farmers president Russell MacPherson addressed nearly 200 farmers and industry representatives at the meeting in Invercargill yesterday.

It was a bigger than expected turnout with some joking the rain and a guest appearance from Prime Minister John Key had made the sandwiches and cake hot commodities.

As the rain fell outside, MacPherson's president's report highlighted Environment Southland had painted a wholly negative picture of water quality in Southland and largely pointed the finger at farmers.

In response to the Environment Southland State of the Environment Report 2012, the Federated Farmers Southland executive commissioned its own report.

The findings by water scientist Jim Cooke showed Southland water quality in most places was improving or the same, MacPherson said. Frank discussions were under way between Federated Farmers and Environment Southland. 

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