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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

A message from the Happy Cow People

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

Hi Gary,

You can check the nitrate levels of your local river by visiting this interactive map from Statistics NZ

You’ll notice that the Forks Stream near Tekapo has a nitrate concentration of 3mg/L.

If you drive approximately 120 km west you’ll get to Hinds, where the Rhodes Stream has a nitrate concentration of 10.9mg/L. A little further north, the Boundary Drain reading is 10.3mg/L. 

To put this into perspective the highest nitrate reading in NZ is 13.5mg/L in the market gardening capital of NZ, Pukekohe. 

I often think of that when someone tells me plant-based agriculture will save the planet, but I digress.

One of the differences between the Forks Stream in Tekapo & the waterways near Hinds, is there are 250,000 dairy cows on the flats of South Canterbury compared with 0 dairy cows in Tekapo.

However, that is about to change. Despite many objections, Environment Canterbury has granted consent for a 15,000 cow dairy farm just outside of Tekapo.

Continue reading here:

And here is his followup article which poses some really interesting solutions:

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