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Environment

Defining year for winter grazing practices

While the Government has delayed the implementation of winter grazing regulations by 12 months, it has made it clear it will be keeping a very close eye on wintering practices this year.
Thursday, 22 April 2021

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s North Island General Manager Corina Jordan says farmers should follow the good practice management advice developed by B+LNZ, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers and other industry partners and ensure they have a plan in place that identifies any winter grazing risks and outlines the strategies to mitigate them. 

Based on recommendations from the farmer-led Southland Winter Grazing Advisory Group, B+LNZ is planning to hold Forage Cropping Workshops this winter, which are a component of the organisation’s recently released Farm Plan.    

“We know that most farmers already have a plan for this winter, but we recommend farmers document their wintering practices this year. The templates provided in the workshop will help farmers identify and minimise their environmental and animal welfare risks, while providing proof of good practice,” says Corina.

For those unable to attend a workshop, B+LNZ’s winter grazing module will be available on-line and in hardcopy. 

At the same time, B+LNZ, alongside other industry organisations, is calling on the Government for a permanent change to the unworkable components of the Winter Grazing rules.

These include the pugging regulations, the re-sowing dates and slope rules. 

“While these rules have been paused, we want them deleted and replaced with sensible advice on on-farm practices,” says Corina. 

‘Continued good practice by farmers this year will provide us with a strong case for the removal of these rules.”  

To deal with any concerns about winter grazing practices, an industry-run hotline will be launched this weekend and will operate throughout winter.

By phoning 0800 FARMING, people can report any concerns they have with winter grazing practices. Calls will be treated anonymously.

For more information on winter grazing go to www.beeflambnz.com/wintergrazing

Look out in the events section of E-diary for dates for Forage Cropping Workshops.