Moving Day: the annual dairy cow migration
Southern dairy farmers are being reminded to undertake best practices to safeguard water quality and transport safety when the annual stock Moving Day begins next Thursday.
Moving Day starts from June 1 and continues for several weeks, a tradition where dairy cow herds and farmers move between farm properties, either by road or more often by stock truck.
Otago Regional Council’s Manager Compliance Tami Sargeant says effluent from stock trucks can put road users and adjacent waterways at risk and asks farmers to stand off their animals, for at least 4 to 12 hours, prior to transporting them.
“The emphasis is on farmers’ standing their stock the day before moving, and for the trucking companies to make use of the roadside effluent disposal sites,” Mrs Sargeant says.
Effluent can get onto roads and become a safety hazard for other drivers and can run off into roadside drains or pollute adjacent waterways, she says.
The ORC and several local authorities now operate nine roadside effluent disposal sites across Otago, with six disposal sites on State Highway 1 between Pukeuri and Clinton, and three on inland highways, at Raes Junction, Brassknocker Rd and Tarras.
Farmers walking their herd along a road should keep them away from roadside drains, and avoid disturbed soil, to stop effluent entering waterways.
Cows should be stood off green feed for at least four hours, but no more than 12 hours, before they are loaded onto trucks, which helps reduce the amount of effluent on trucks.
For welfare reasons, DairyNZ also recommends that a grazed-out paddock or stand-off pad are better options for standing stock, than a concrete surface, as the latter can contribute to tender feet and are not good for stock to lie down on.
Please report stock truck effluent spills into waterways to the ORC’s Pollution Hotline on 0800 800 033
Main image (Supplied): Moving Day starts from June 1 and continues for several weeks, a tradition where dairy cow herds and farmers move between farm properties, either by road or more often by stock truck. If you come across a herd like this, follow the farmer’s instructions.