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Council says sustainable farming is a group effort

Waikato sustainable farming practices are continuing to improve, but there's always room to do more.

That's the message from Waikato Regional Council manager of environmental farming systems, Alan Campbell.  The council aims to promote sustainable farming and displayed its theme of "competing globally, caring locally" in prime position at Fieldays 2011.

“The message to our farmers is everyone has a role to play in not only managing our environment, but also managing our global markets.”

He says the state of Waikato waterways could be better, but are improving. The improvement is primarily due to a reduction of point source discharges and the treatment of waste water from towns.

The biggest issue now, he says, is the run-off from nutrients added to the soil on farms, and the council is working hard with farmers to improve sustainable practices.

On a daily basis the council may have very little to do with farmers, but there are occasions where in the background, it is making it possible for farmers to farm, he says.

There are a number of farmers in the region who would not be able to farm economically without the council’s help.

Campbell says the flood management system is crucial to helping many farmers make the most of their land and work on TB control, soil erosion and rule compliance also contribute to the long-term viability of farming in the region.