Dairy production and water go hand in hand. On the one hand, water underpins most requirements for a productive dairy farm. The quality and availability of water are limiting factors that can fundamentally affect growth and revenue. On the other hand, dairy farming has the potential to significantly impact water resources that negatively impact ecosystem health and long-term sustainability.
The use of riparian buffer zones is internationally recognised as one effective method for reducing many of the impacts associated with dairy farming.
by Dr Jackie Dabrowski (Pr.Sci.Nat. Aquatic Science)
The Institute of Natural Resources NPC, in partnership with Confluent Environmental and the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWFSA), was awarded a research project through Milk SA’s research and development programme. The aim of the project is to describe what good environmental management looks like on a dairy farm, based on results of the two case studies, engagement with sector experts with a range of backgrounds (regulation, operational, soils, pasture, sustainability) through two engagement sessions, and a broad literature review. The emphasis throughout relates to actions that influence aquatic ecosystems and buffer zones. The reader should easily identify practices on the farm that support sustainable management of water resources, versus those that do not.
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