OPINION: DairyNZ is pleased by progress to improve winter grazing regulations.
“Most farmers are focused on delivering and we are largely seeing good practices as we head through winter,” says Sharon Morrell, DairyNZ farm performance general manager.
She says farmers expect a team effort and to see assistance delivered for any farmers who need it. “As a sector, we are committed to delivering winter grazing that protects our animals and environment – this motivation is really evident this season, and farmers are taking action and adopting new practices.”
Morrell says managing wet weather is challenging for any farm system but there are options for farmers facing difficult conditions, such as shifting stock off the crop during adverse weather or to shelter under trees or hedges.
“We’re encouraging farmers to have a plan written down and to discuss it with the team – keep reviewing it each and every wet weather event. Keep sharpening the system each time rain or snow is forecast.”
Morrell says DairyNZ is encouraging farmers to use the Winter Grazing Hotline which farmers can do by calling 0800 FARMING.
The advice comes after Environment Southland performed an aerial inspection of farms in the region which saw a good level of compliance across the areas covered.
However, Environment Southland says intensive winter grazing is a high-risk activity.
In data released last month, Environment Southland said it had investigated 18 incidents and/or properties related to intensive winter grazing, while 14 were reviewed and confirmed as having no breaches.
A further three were found as needing investigation during the inspection flight.