Setting up winter feed crops to minimise environment impacts

Farmers are being encouraged to consider the environmental impacts of their wintering systems as they begin transitioning livestock onto winter feed crops.
Tuesday, 30 April 2019

 Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s General Manager North Island Matt Ward says setting up feed paddocks in a way that protects soil, nutrient and water resources is good for business, animal welfare and the environment.

Making long and narrow breaks, placing troughs and supplementary feed in a dry central part of the paddock and fencing across the slope are all practical, low-cost management strategies farmers can adopt to help protect their resources.

Before animals begin grazing the crop, all waterways and Critical Source Areas (parts of the paddock that can channel overland flow directly to waterways) should be identified and fenced off.

Matt says while the weather is settled in early May, it can be hard to imagine what the paddock will be like after days of rain in mid-June, but farmers should have contingency plans – such as feedpads or run-off paddocks – that can be used in extreme weather.

Backfencing is also a useful tool to prevent pugging and reduce the risk of run-off.

A newly-developed winter grazing workshop, which connects good management practice guidelines with practical on-farm application, is being rolled-out throughout the country. Look at the Events section of the B+LNZ website or contact your local B+LNZ Extension Manager.

Find out more

Read more at https://beeflambnz.com/wintergrazing/pre-grazing

For more information about strategic grazing see the links to the podcasts and video below: