Farmers have asked the Minister for the Environment to extend the date from 31 July to 31 December this year.
An online tool which was supposed to have been developed by regional councils to allow farmers to report how much fertiliser they had used during 2021/2022 was not ready, and there were no alternatives available to submit the information.
‘Needless to say, this is very disappointing and reflects poor organisation on the part of the government who created these regulations in the first place,’ said a Federation Farmers advisory sent out by email.
‘The National Environmental Standard for Freshwater makes it clear that dairy farms are to report their nitrogen use by 31 July. There have been some assurances from regional councils they will not be enforcing this regulation until October. This still leaves dairy farmers in breach of the law if they do not comply with this reporting date.’
Federated Farmers were also concerned that farmers had been told the date had been pushed, when it clearly had not been. ‘While it is tempting to blame regional councils, these are central government regulations that have been brought into force without the proper implementation systems in place.’