Federated Farmers is warning farmers not to risk making the dairy industry a scapegoat at this year's general election through poor farm practices.
In a message to farmers, dairy chairman Willy Leferink said he was worried they could be negatively portrayed during the election campaign and they needed to do the basics properly to avoid bad publicity.
Visual aspects of the industry needing to be tidied up, and that could help create a better public image, Mr Leferink said.
He was concerned farmers were not covering dead stock in public view, such as carcasses waiting to be picked up by a collector.
He warned farmers not to leave stock knee deep in mud next to a highway, and to treat all stock with respect. That included euthanising calves and inducing cows by the rules, Mr Leferink said.
As well, streams should be fenced, effluent issues sorted, and farmers should ensure silage plastic was not flapping everywhere but was weighed down properly and recycled, he said.