Landfarming, a good story to tell

“Landfarming and the benefits it brings is actually a good story to tell. The release of the Landfarming Guidelines brings about a happy ending to the Landfarm debate”, Cameron Madgwick, CEO of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association NZ said today.

Mr Madgwick also welcomed the release of latest report released on Landfarming by Landcare research which stated

“Land application of O&G wastes is considered to pose no attributable risk to food safety or animal welfare, particularly when wastes are incorporated into the shallow subsoil with topsoil overlying the soil/waste”

“At the moment the Taranaki region is the only place where landfarming takes place and the Taranaki Regional Council has rigorous monitoring procedures that govern the operation of landfarms and review, test and evaluate their use regularly.

“These new guidelines build on the high standard that the Taranaki Regional Council currently operates too, and will alleviate any concerns food producers and farmers had about the practice.

“Today’s release coupled with other reports released on the practice show that not only is landfarming a safe practice, it can also be a profitable one for farmers.

In a report commissioned by the council, soil scientist Doug Edmeades, of AgKnowledge Ltd, set out to see if landfarms in Taranaki were fit for pastoral farming, in particular dairy farming.

“This independent report proves that this practice is safe shows the real benefits land farming has on costal and sandy farmland. The report goes as far as saying that re-contoured sand dunes, after the inclusion of the drilling wastes and with the addition of appropriate fertilisers and water (irrigation) is capable of producing high quality clover-based pastures and increasing the value of the land from about $3-4000/ha to $30-40,000/ha.

“When it comes to health and safety – the New Zealand’s oil and gas industry has a track record it is proud to stand by. Good regulation that is transparent and accountable to New Zealanders is a must, and that is why we welcome these new guidelines and hope they help to dispel the mistruths about Landfarming and alleviate any concerns New Zealanders may have had about the practice.” Mr Madgwick said.