27 Dec 2016

Pollution caused by cow shed effluent up in Northland

10:32 am on 27 December 2016

Pollution caused by cow-shed effluent has increased in Northland this milking season, bucking a downward trend in recent years.

Cow beef cattle generic

Cow shed effluent has increased in Northland. Photo: 123RF

The regional council said the number of farmers breaching their resource consents is well up on last season.

The monitoring figures show about 42 percent have been non-compliant, compared with 34 percent last year.

The regional council chairperson, Bill Shepherd, said it had been suggested that could be because of a wet season, and staff layoffs by farmers trying to manage low milk prices.

But Mr Shepherd said the conditions of discharge consents are non-negotiable and excuses are not acceptable.

He said unlike some councils, the Northland council inspected every dairy farm in its catchment.