An environment for tomorrow

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE FUTURE ACHIEVED BY WIDER FARM TEAM

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE FUTURE ACHIEVED BY WIDER FARM TEAM
Waimarama Farm
<p>Canterbury dairy farmers Peter Scott and Lisa Hill-Scott milk 1050 cows on the Methven foothills. They are fourth-generation farmers who worked their way through the sharemilking system before purchasing their 372ha unirrigated Methven farm 13 years ago, buying out equity partners (the McCaw family) over time to become sole owners of the farm.</p> <p>The Scotts love working on the land, and they believe declining water quality is not an option.</p> <p>&quot;We have always been passionate about environmental sustainability,&quot;</p> <p>&quot;In 2012, the opportunity to procure an ASB low-interest environmental loan enabled us to initiate the improvements we wanted to start making on the farm.&quot;</p> <p>The Scott's first project was building a substantial bridge across a dry creek to use as cow and vehicle access during flood or continued flow.</p> <p>They then extended their effluent storage to 30 days, to be more selective around application timing and amounts, extending effluent reticulation from 60ha to 192ha, and fencing water races and waterways.</p> <p>More recently, they have undertaken substantial planting including native areas with beehives, riparian planting to stop erosion and reduce nutrient leaching into waterways, farm shelter, and shade and beautification with large deciduous trees.</p> <p>&quot;We would like the farm to have a park-like appearance, with a high degree of&nbsp; sustainability, and adopt new ideas and technologies such as cow and pasture breeding, reducing milking times, reducing excess packaging and managing fertilisers,&quot; Peter and Lisa say.</p>
<p>&quot;We would also like to increase our effluent storage by building another pond, and create a stand-off area for the herd in the event of very wet weather.&quot;</p> <p>The Scotts say they are big advocates of the professional people they surround themselves with - including ASB, which has been a large part of their journey.</p> <p>&quot;Although we are in the fortunate position that we can prioritise environmental sustainability on farm, profitability remains a driver for us. We know we need to balance our environmental and financial sustainability initiatives today to be successful in the future.&quot;</p> <p>ASB introduced a new low-interest ASB Rural Sustainability Loan at National Fieldays in June 2021 aimed at supporting farmers for projects and initiatives that will directly improve their farm’s environmental footprint such as GHG emission reduction, sustainable use and protection of water, sustainable energy use, and animal health and welfare.</p> <p>&quot;Farmers tell us climate change and regulatory pressure are big issues keeping them up at night,&quot; ASB Rural GM Ben Speedy says.</p> <p>&quot;That's why we're digging in and doing more for Kiwis who want to drive change that makes a deeper difference for their farm and ultimately the environment.&quot;</p> <p>Get your farm one step ahead with an ASB Rural Sustainability Loan. Visit <a href="https://asb.co.nz/ruralsustainability" target="_blank">asb.co.nz/ruralsustainability</a> to learn more.</p> <p><i>This article was first published on <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/125762468/environmental-sustainability-for-the-future-achieved-by-wider-farm-team" target="_blank">stuff.co.nz</a></i></p>