The menus for the dairying, drystock and cropping sectors stem from collaboration between the council and the Upper Waikato Primary Sector Partnership.
“We started with detailed on-farm analysis of more than 60 Upper Waikato catchment farms,” council agriculture advisor Ross Abercrombie said.
“We identified what the farmers can and will do to reduce the effects of farming operations on water quality.”
That work was then enhanced by the establishment of the Upper Waikato Primary Sector Partnership, which brought together experts from the main agricultural sectors to assess a wide range of potential solutions for the whole region.
Abercrombie said this collective approach has created a robust and objective assessment of the likely environmental benefits of each practice identified in the menus and the farm business implications.
“The environmental benefits are dependent on the situation, including slopes, soils, rainfall and farm system.
“Also, the individual farm business costs and benefits are dependent on the farm system, available labour, skills, debt levels and farm goals.
“No two farms are the same and the menu allows farmers to pick a spread that meets their needs and budget.”
Abercrombie said the new menus included effluent-related tips for dairy farmers and also dung and urine-related tips for the drystock sector.
“The menus cover various nutrients and contaminants and offer practical management tools for farmers and farm consultants to reduce losses from farms to waterways in a cost-effective manner.”
To access a copy of the menus come to site PF19 at Fieldays, call freephone 0800 800 401 or visit www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/menus