Improving water quality in Waikato-Waipa Catchment: Options for dry

Sheep and beef farming industry is probably more challenging than any other industries in New Zealand. Farm costs are rising without corresponding price increases for wool and meat. On top of that is the reality that restoring and maintaining water quality has gone beyond expectations on any one industry alone. As part of a project to study the costs of meeting water quality in Waikato region, sheep and beef, including dairy support farms were surveyed to identify 5 ‘typical’ case study farms/systems in terms of main enterprises and other factors that characterise the farms. The farms were then modelled with different but relevant nutrient loss mitigation practices based on the farms’ main enterprises and characteristics. FARMAX® model was applied to investigate biological feasibility and financial implications of the mitigation practices and then OVERSEER® model was applied to estimate the nutrient budgets associated with the mitigation practices. The results show some trade-off, but also, that mitigating nutrient loss is possible even with increased financial net benefits in some cases. However, the socio-economic, cultural and demographic factors that could impact on farmers' decision were not captured with the data used and so those factors have not been considered.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-29

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