Dairy NZ says more intensive efforts to help dairy farmers comply with effluent management regulations are starting to pay off.
Preliminary figures issued by Canterbury Regional Council for the past dairy season show a big lift in compliance rates in that region.
The overall level of compliance increased from 43% to 59% of the region's dairy farmers.
And the level of significant non-compliance more than halved from 19% to 8%.
That includes breaches such as effluent ponding, discharge of effluent too close to waterways, and nitrogen overloading.
Dairy companies and industry groups have been working with the regional council to provide more guidance for farmers on effluent management.
Dairy NZ says that's reflected in the results in Canterbury, the first region to apply this co-ordinated approach.
It says the same approach is being introduced to other regions, including Southland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Manawatu-Whanganui.