GMP Event Mitigation Options 2019 Summary

GMP Event Mitigation Options 2019 Summary

Tuesday 12th November 2019 - at the Tatuanui hall, Tatuanui.

Hosted by NZ Landcare Trust and Piako Catchment Forum, in conjunction with Lincoln Agritech, Streamlined Environmental and Waikato Regional Council.

This Information Day for Resource Managers looked into different edge of field mitigation options for different farms within the Piako Catchment and a great variety of people attended the day from local farmers to council staff, including from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, who made the trip over from the Bay. The programme for the day can be downloaded as a PDF below (0).

We started with a karakia and morning tea. Nardene Berry, NZ Landcare Trust, introduced the speakers who were presenting for the morning session.
First up was Dr Roland Stenger from Lincoln Agritech Ltd, who spoke about research using helicopter-borne electromagnetic surveys which allow critical pathways for nitrate transfers in the Piako headwaters to be made clear. He highlighted the importance of understanding our headwaters in order to make informed land management decisions. A PDF of his presentation is below (1), a poster of the research (2) and a link to a short video showing the helicopter flying over the Piako catchment is here:

GMP Event Mitigation Options 2019 Summary

Justin Wyatt, Soil Scientist from Waikato Regional Council, then provided some insights into subsidence and contaminant losses for drained Waikato Peat Soils.

Justin highlighted that drainage of peat soils results in land subsidence and carbon loss and that the risk of phosphorus loss due to leaching is high for those peat soils with low anion storage capacity. A PDF of his presentation is below (3).

Dr Rebecca Eivers from Streamlined Environmental then presented her work on edge of field mitigation options to improve water quality and biodiversity on Cookson Trust Farms, which we then visited as part of the field trip. A PDF of her presentation is below (4).

In the final presentation of the morning session, Dr Aldrin Rivas, from Lincoln Agritech, shared his work in trialing a denitrifying bioreactor to remove nitrate from discharges of a subsurface drain on a Tatuanui dairy farm, which was the first stop for our field trip after lunch. A PDF of his presentation is below (5).

We had time for a few questions, but during Justin’s talk, we had a very loud hailstorm, which meant we couldn’t hear him speaking, so we set up a microphone and speaker system, which delayed us slightly, time wise.

Over a delicious lunch provided by Loxy & Co from Morrinsville, people had a chance to network with other attendees and ask further questions.

A massive thank you to both Tom Mourits and Richard Cookson who allowed us access to their farms for the field trip part of the day. Those that could come out in the field all car pooled to Tom’s farm just down the road, to see the woodchip bioreactor first hand. It is fenced off for research purposes, and is lined. The flow was lower in 2017 than in 2018, so there was more retention time (21 days in 2017 compared with 5 days in 2018). Higher flows result in faster flows and more nutrient to remove, but lower retention time, so less effective.

GMP Event Mitigation Options 2019 Summary

Next stop was the constructed wetland treatment train (CTW-train), and Advanced Riparian Management Zones (ARMZ) which were on Richards’ farm not too far away.Rebecca highlighted the many challenges faced during installation, and directly afterwards, of this system.

The ARMZ site was also on Richard’s farm, but under a different operation, being a “cut and carry” system for goats. This was the final stop for the day, and after a round of thanks, everyone headed off to where they needed to go.
A heartfelt thank you to members of the Piako Catchment Forum who assisted in tidying up the hall afterwards, it was very much appreciated.

An on-line evaluation form is available at the link below to provide valuable feedback on the day. If there are any topics you would like covered in a future event, it would be great to know too:

Once again, thanks to all those who attended and look forward to seeing you next year.

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