Conclusion

This publication started by briefly outlining the nature of erosion, why it happens on farmland, and how it affects farmers. However, its most important message is about simple ways that farmers can control erosion themselves. You do not have to put up with a level of soil erosion which depresses production, or imposes extra costs, or affects downstream neighbours, You have a wide range of techniques for controlling erosion at your disposal. The techniques are generally tried-and-tested farm management practices. All are already in use by farmers somewhere in the country. They cost a little bit of time and money - not a lot - and the benefits are manifold:

This report has outlined what the techniques are, the types of land they can be used on, and extent to which they control different kinds of erosion. It has also indicated what benefits some farmers already get, by way of avoiding production loss, and minimising expenditure on damage repair. You can compare this information with what you know about your own property to see how it shapes up, what techniques you could use, and what benefits you could expect. The bibliography on the next page contains a selection of readable, plain-language publications about agricultural techniques which control erosion, If you need advice, most regional councils have soil conservators or land management officers, and although few councils now subsidise soil conservation works, their advisory services are usually available to farmers at no charge. In some parts of the country, there are also independent farm consultants who can offer specialised advice about soil conservation.

A final point: keeping erosion at an acceptably low level on a farm does not just help maintain production or save money. If your farm management is sufficiently good that erosion on the property is minimal, local authorities have one less reason to impose planning measures that restrict farmers’ use of land. That helps your neighbours. Export markets have one less excuse to restrict access for New Zealand produce because of environmental damage to land, waterways or wildlife. That helps the whole country.

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