Back in 2012, I said on this page
“The debacle over the Crafar farms has done considerable damage to New Zealand’s image of clean-and-green, animal-welfare focused dairy farming. This damage will take many years to repair. The quickest and most effective way to do this is for the Government to require the eventual new owner or owners to turn the farms into showpieces for what can be achieved, fully cost-effectively, on a dairy farm.
In my view, this could include
- strict limits on bought-in feed – No palm kernel
- all waterways fenced off
- lanes drained to collect run-off
- the installation of large effluent ponds, and the most efficient effluent irrigation technology, preferably over at least 30% of the farm
- annual N application limited to 150 kg N/ha, all applied in fluidised/wetted urea form containing urease inhibitor
- the fitting of ‘Taurine’ tail devices to all milking cows
- the use of at least two-thirds of the total P application as run-off resistant RPR.
I believe that, with these steps in place, nutrient losses and GHG affects would be reduced by over 70%, and that farm profitability would be increased by 5-10%.”
Of course, this opportunity was not taken. But maybe next time?