B+LNZ is working with central Government and regional councils to find practical solutions to several aspects of the recently released Essential Freshwater regulations, particularly those relating to winter grazing.
We are also working to clarify areas of confusion within the regulations.
The Government has said that all farmers who grow winter crops can graze those crops next winter (2021) without a resource consent, as long as two conditions are met:
- Farmers’ practices and scale remain the same as (or less than) previous years (2014-2019).
- Winter grazing finishes and the paddock is resown by 1 Oct or 1 Nov (if you’re in Otago or Southland regions).
If you are planning on grazing animals on a winter crop past the end of October next year or unable to resow the paddock by this time, you will need to apply for a resource consent. You need to submit you consent application to the Regional Council by 31 October 2021, but B+LNZ recommends talking to your Regional Council well before this date.
Farmers who plan to increase either the area in winter crop or stocking densities next winter also need to talk to their Regional Council.
B+LNZ is seeking practical changes to the permitted activity rules in areas of concern to farmers. These include the definition of pugging, how the average slope of a paddock is assessed and re-sowing dates.
B+LNZ is also working with Environment Southland on the development of a streamlined consenting process for winter grazing and with the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries on how a Certified Farm Plan could help farmers meet relevant regulatory requirements without applying for a resource consent.
In the meantime, B+LNZ is encouraging all farmers to demonstrate best practice with their winter forage crops, from establishment through to post-grazing management.
B+LNZ will keep farmers regularly updated on these Essential Freshwater regulations and how they will affect them.
For more information about the management of winter forage crops go to: