Episode 12 – Golden Bay dairy farmers diving deep to be at the forefront of freshwater

In Podcasts3 MinutesApril 4, 2024

Imagine being one of the 14 dairy farmers tasked with moving the freshwater quality status from ‘excellent’ to ‘absolutely amazing’ with it all down to reducing milligrams of nitrate per litre without solid science! 

Te Waikoropupu Springs in Golden Bay has been at the centre of what the Environment Court commissioner describes as a jigsaw with missing pieces – those pieces are a whole lot of science as the lag time from nitrates entering the Springs could be as long as 100 yrs!

Find out how these farmers are de-risking their farming business in the face of huge uncertainty, the power of having a collective voice in your catchment and how virtual fencing technology is supporting the challenge.

Guests include:

  1. Corrigan Sowman & Cherrie Chubb, inter-generational Golden Bay dairy farmers
  2. Steve Crowhurst, Partnership Manager, Halter
  3. Tanya Bramley, Regional Coordinator, NZ Landcare Trust – Ngā Matapopore Whenua


  1. Sheryl Haitana, Editor, Dairy Exporter
  2. Anne Lee, Deputy Editor, Dairy Exporter
  3. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

Corrigan Sowman & Cherrie Chubb are both dairy farming in the catchment and explain to Sheryl how they are faced with reducing nitrates from 0.44 mg/L to 0.41 mg/L by 2038 when most other catchments around the country can be sitting between 5-20mg/L. 

If they don’t move the dial they will see their irrigation consents not renewed and ⅓ of production gone. So how to navigate changes to your farming business without a direct cause & effect?

Read more in their article “Aquifer Puzzle” about farming near the clearest water ever measured in the Dairy Exporter Winter 2024 magazine or click here to read online.

Halter’s Partnership Manager, Steve Crowhurst, shares the multiple benefits for Corrigan Sowman using Halter’s virtual fencing and pasture technology to manage their sensitive environment whilst remaining profitable.

Halter have slashed their prices 37% for you to get started across virtual fencing, shifting, growing and harvesting more grass, heat detection and animal healthlearn more here.

And the episode finishes with Sheryl learning more about the power of getting involved in your local catchment with NZ Landcare Trust – Ngā Matapopore Whenua from Tanya Bramley, Regional Coordinator – Manawatu/Whanganui.

Learn more about NZ Landcare Trust.

Autumn 2024 Pasture Summit

– Bay of Plenty Event: Wednesday, 1 May 2024 hosted by Jordyn Crouch & Isaac Algar in Atiamuri.

– Southland Event: Wednesday, 8 May 2024 hosted by Sam & Jenna Hodsell in Taramoa.

View the programme and register here!