Plea to stand stock before trucking
Friday, 17 May 2002
As dairy farm changeovers loom and dairy cows are moved to winter grazing, farmers are being reminded to stand stock before they are loaded on to trucks.
Chairperson of the Otago Regional Council Duncan Butcher, said over the last couple of weeks the Council has received number of complaints about stock effluent on roads around Otago.
"It is disappointing considering Otago has the biggest network of stock effluent disposal sites in New Zealand. We have sent many messages to truck operators and farmers to use the sites and we have also reminded farmers about the need to stand stock before they are trucked off the property.
"It is time to remind them again," he said.
Otago/Southland guidelines suggest dairy cows should be stood off pasture or crop feed - but with water - for 12 hours, and eight to 10 hours for sheep. The amount of time off feed depends on the age and type of stock and the feed they are eating.
If necessary, dry feed such as grain, hay or meal can be fed, which will not contribute to increased effluent production.
The President of Otago Federated Farmers, Mike Elliot stressed the importance of preparing stock for transport. "It is essential that farmers and transport companies are very aware of the problems that stock effluent can cause."
Mr Elliot went on to explain that the inconvenience to motorists and the possibility of slippery roads was only part of the story.
"This has wider ramifications in terms of industry image and market perception. Farmers have a responsibility to themselves, their stock, the community and their industry to ensure that stock are allowed to stand before transportation.
"Presentation of stock at the works is also important. Farmers and transport companies must take every possible step to continue quality standards off-farm and stock truck effluent management is just one of those," he concluded.
Dave Potter, Otago Southland area manager of the New Zealand Road Transport Association, endorsed Mr Elliot's plea to stand stock in good time before the trucks arrived to pick up stock.
"These days drivers often visit more than one property on a run. It is vital that the operators and the farmers work together more closely to ensure stock can be stood.
"Drivers have limited driving hours, which makes planning ahead by all parties essential," Mr Potter said. Time lost at the farm gate, means less time to stop at effluent disposal sites in transit.
"Time is of the essence and we all need to work together to ensure the issue of effluent spillage is overcome," Mr Potter said.
Duncan Butcher Dave Potter
0274 343 876 Ph 03 477 4493
Mike Elliot Matt Harcombe
Ph 03 415 7525 Federated Farmers
Ph 03 4777 353