Three tips for winter soil management | Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Three tips for winter soil management

Winter is here. It’s time to think about protecting your paddocks over the coming months.
Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Pugging and soil degradation caused by leaving stock on soggy paddocks for too long is a problem that can be avoided.

Have you thought about the critical source areas on your farm? I’m talking about the vulnerable areas of your farm or paddocks that contain large amounts of sediment, nutrients and bacteria vulnerable to finding their way into waterways. 

Critical source areas are often persistently wet areas, like gullies and swales. The overland flow of water and seepage converge to form small channels of running water, which have the potential to flow into streams and rivers. 

How can you best manage a critical source area on your farm? It’s all about paddock management.

Here are three tips:

  1. Consider the slope when grazing a paddock. Start grazing from the top of the paddock and work your way down to the critical source area. 
  2. It’s worthwhile fencing off wet areas in a paddock. This is a simple approach to avoid further soil damage.
  3. Ensure you are grazing the right class of stock on the right country. Is it possible to only graze your sheep on the heavier country (as opposed to heavy cattle)? This will help avoid erosion of your steeper slopes.