Agresearch says results of its trial of low cost techniques to limit dairy contaminants leaching into waterways are encouraging.
The state-owned research and development company is part way through a trial of different grazing methods on Telford Farm, near Dunedin.
It says those techniques can significantly reduce the flow of nutrients, faecal microbes and sediment into waterways.
Research associate Tom Orchiston says the experiment compared different grazing strategies, with cows in one paddock grazing in a standard fashion from the bottom of the catchment and working their way up.
In the other catchment the researchers used strategic grazing where wet areas were protected and grazing was from the top of the paddock to the bottom to reduce sediment flow.
Mr Orchiston says the study also looked at winter forage grazing which requires minimal capital outlay.