fbpx
Print this page
Friday, 22 January 2021 07:55

Moves to improve winter grazing requirements

Written by  Staff Reporters
DairyNZ welcomes moves to improve winter grazing rules. DairyNZ welcomes moves to improve winter grazing rules.

DairyNZ says it supports recommendations to the Government from an advisory group looking to improve winter grazing rules for farmers and achieve better environmental outcomes.

The Southland Advisory Group was formed after concern from farmers and sector organisations that a number of new winter grazing rules were impractical, challenging to meet and costly for councils to implement.

The rules are part of the Government’s National Environmental Standard for Freshwater.

“While we support the intent of the Government’s regulations, which is to protect the environment, the rules need to be fair, reasonable and achievable,” said DairyNZ strategy and investment leader Dr David Burger.

“We are pleased to have worked with farmers and sector organisations to develop clear and practical recommendations for on-farm wintering actions which will lead to better outcomes for the environment and local communities.”

The advisory group, made up of two farmer representatives and representatives from DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb New Zealand, Environment Southland, Federated Farmers and Fish & Game, was formed after farmers expressed their concerns about the regulations, wanting fair and pragmatic solutions.

“This collaborative approach is the way forward for developing regional council plans as the National Environmental Standard for Freshwater takes effect over the next few years,” says Burger.

“We know farmers have made significant strides in improving their wintering planning and care for the environment and animals, and acknowledge there’s more to do – we are on the journey.”

The group is unanimous in its recommendations, which were presented last month to Minister for the Environment David Parker and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor.

Taking onboard the areas of concern from farmers, DairyNZ and the other advisory group members have recommended to the Government these changes be made: The group agrees that farm plans are the future for managing freshwater and whilst these are developed and rolled out, the group recommends work commence immediately on a step that can be used in the interim – an Intensive Winter Grazing module. This would enable farmers to identify the specific risks on their property and identify the good management practices they implement to mitigate the impacts on freshwater.

The pugging and resowing date conditions should be removed. The group have also recommended a new measure which focuses on the management of critical source areas. Pugging and resowing rules would lead to perverse outcomes, but managing critical source areas would lead to improved environmental health. The recommendation suggests these areas are protected within intensively grazed areas via buffers.

Until the Government has considered the recommendations and implemented any changes, farmers will still need to plan to meet freshwater requirements.

More like this

Why should we do more?

OPINION: Managing our dairy sector's impacts inevitably attracts a range of views. Should we do more, less or stay the same? We produce the lowest emissions dairy products in the world, so why do more?

Catchment group making group progress on improving water

Over the last two and a half years, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has worked on a project to improve the freshwater health catchment groups from across the country, with help from the Ministry for Environment's (MfE) Freshwater Improvement Fund. One of these groups is the Thomson's Creek Catchment Group in Central Otago.

National

Why should we do more?

OPINION: Managing our dairy sector's impacts inevitably attracts a range of views. Should we do more, less or stay the…

Cattle sale with a difference

Innovation, loss and resilience have brought the Singh family to the point where it is poised to honour its patriarch,…

O'Connor's overseas odyssey

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor continued his overseas odyssey in the past week with multiple meetings in the US, Europe and…

Machinery & Products

Protective tint

Now available in New Zealand, Wildcat Static Cling Tint adds a protective layer to the windows of your tractor, harvester…

New owner for stoll

German company Stoll, the well-known manufacturer of tractor front loaders and attachments that claims to be the second largest producer…

Fert spreaders get a revamp

Kuhn has updated its MDS range of fertiliser spreaders, giving farmers more options to upgrade machines as situations change, rather…

Mowers spring into action

With spring upon us, thoughts turn towards shutting up paddocks for conservation and maybe the purchase of new machinery to…