Heather McKay, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Environmental Policy Manager, says the new intensive winter grazing regulations came into effect on 1 November last year. The regulations require farmers whose wintering practices do not fit the permitted activity criteria to apply for a resource consent before 1 May.
She says B+LNZ has put together fact sheets and resources, including a factsheet on intensive winter grazing regulations (PDF, 2.8MB) so farmers can determine whether or not they need a resource consent before grazing their forage crops this winter.
“If in doubt, contact your regional council as they are responsible for implementing the new regulations.”
To help farmers, B+LNZ has put together a list of regional councils with links to their winter-grazing-specific information and contacts. View the Intensive Winter Grazing regional information here.
“This will help farmers get the information they need for their particular region as every region is slightly different in the way they are implementing the rules.”
Mrs McKay is encouraging farmers to complete a wintering plan in the lead up to winter and continue the good management practices they have put in place in recent years.
She says reports from regional councils highlight the fact that wintering practices have improved significantly in recent years, with farmers putting management strategies in place to protect their soil and water resources while maintaining high standards of animal welfare.
“It has been really pleasing to see how farmers have proactively put measures in place to minimise the impact of their intensive winter grazing on the environment.”
For more information on winter grazing, including winter plan templates go to Winter grazing/ Forage crop grazing webpage.