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Farmers forced to dump milk following heavy rain

Following road closures, slips and flooding in eastern Bay of Plenty, emergency disposal of milk by farmers may be required during the coming days.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Water Management Group Manager Eddie Grogan said that Fonterra had contacted Regional Council officials this morning to explain the situation.

There is still extensive flooding and road closures in the eastern Bay following the recent heavy rainfall and this meant that some farmers would need to dump milk as collecting it was not possible.

Mr Grogan said that farmers would need to ensure they followed the guidelines carefully and avoided direct contamination of waterways.

He said: “The heavy rainfall means that there will be large amounts of milk that farmers will need to dispose of on site. Irrigation of waste milk to land is the preferred option of disposal in an emergency situation, however given the flooding of paddocks, this may not be possible for all farmers.”

As a result of milk disposal there may be odour issues for neighbouring properties.

The council asked for the public’s understanding as the flood water recedes and roads are reopened.

Farmers should be diluting the milk at a ratio of 1:10 when discharging it onto land, as this helps reduce any possible effects to pasture, and also minimise any odour production.

After irrigating the diluted milk, clean water should be flushed through the system, again to help minimise odour.

– APNZ

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