With statistics showing dairy compliance rates have reached 91 per cent for the 2011/2012 season, Horizons region dairy farmers deserve a pat on the back.
It is great to see high compliance levels and it is also worth noting, not all cases of significant non-compliance result from effluent entering waterways.
The statistics released by the Horizons Regional Council show, with over 900 farms inspected, the percentage of significant non-compliances halved from last year to just over 7 per cent. A number of factors, including more settled weather, influenced this, but it is still very pleasing.
Other standout stats were; the number of abatement notices issued, down to 12 from 53 last season and 99 in the 2008-2009 season and the number of infringement notices issued, just 36 compared to 41 last season and 75 in 2008-2009.
It would be good to get a break down of what infringements have no effect, a potential effect and an actual affect on the environment.
Those who have been found non-compliant should be talking to Horizons staff or the Federation's Manawatu/Rangitikei executive about how they can fix problems they may have. It is good to hear from Horizons that most farmers are doing just that when they are being inspected.
In four short years there has been a huge culture shift in the dairy industry, which is still happening. Overall, the vast majority of the region's dairy farmers, 91 per cent, deserve a huge pat on the back.
This is not a time to rest on our laurels, with plenty more work to be done, but these figures prove to naysayers that dairy farmers take the environment seriously. Their hard work and investment should be recognised.