Author(s): Mike Joy
New Zealand's dairy industry is big business. But what are the hidden - and not so hidden - costs of intensive farming? Evidence presented here by ecologist Mike Joy demonstrates that intensive dairy farming has degraded our freshwater rivers, streams and lakes to such a degree that we face an environmental crisis. This perilous situation, he argues, has arisen primarily through governmental policy that prioritises short-term economic growth over long-term environmental sustainability. This BWB Text is a call to arms, urging New Zealand to change course in the face of environmental degredation that risks the wellbeing of future generations - and all life as we know it on these islands.
The author is a senior lecturer in ecology and environmental science at Massey University and he is extremely concerned at the pollution of our waterways, by the dairy industry especially. He argues that Government policy is driving dairy production at the expense of the environment and argues that farming profitability can be kept with most farmers having their herd numbers cut drastically. The main problem with dairy is the amount of fertiliser on pasture and in the cows urine, which has increased the amount of Nitrogen going into our streams and rivers, making them susceptible to all the algae blooms they seem to have. - Peter
Mike Joy is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science at the Ecology group, Massey University. He researches and teaches freshwater ecology, especially freshwater fish ecology and distribution, ecological modelling bioassessment and environmental science.