Last November, Dr Aldrin Rivas and Dr Roland Stenger represented Lincoln Agritech Limited (LAL) at an information day for resource managers on different mitigation options for agricultural sites in the Piako River catchment. The event was held at Tatuanui and hosted by the NZ Landcare Trust and the Piako Catchment Forum in conjunction with Streamlined Environmental, Waikato Regional Council, and LAL.
Roland introduced our MBIE-funded Critical Pathways Programme, emphasising that good pathways understanding is crucial for the fit-for-purpose design and placement of mitigation options.
Aldrin reported on our research, on how to use a woodchip bioreactor to mitigate nitrate discharges from artificially drained farms and led the site visit to our bioreactor afterwards.
The bioreactor project was initially funded through the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR)-led “Enhanced Mitigation of Groundwater” programme (2016-2018). Since October 2018, it has been funded through the “New Technologies to Double the Effectiveness of On-farm Diffuse Pollution Mitigation” programme led by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
Aldrin and Roland were impressed with the number of participants and their diverse backgrounds, including the dairy industry, regional councils, research organisations, iwi and farmers. Several of the participants expressed the view that existing mitigation options still have room for improvement to increase effectiveness, which is also one of the missions of LALs ongoing research.
With regard to nutrient management, LAL continues to investigate the big picture which informs the application of more effective mitigation options. Apart from the current bioreactor project and the Ministry for Primary Industries three-year Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF)-funded catch crop project, LAL have a number of projects that are relevant to mitigation options and enhance understanding of the transport and fate of nutrients from farms to waterways.
The NZ Landcare Trust has provided a great summary of the day here .