Farmers establishing forage crops will get all the information they need in relation to best-practice management and the Government’s new water regulations from Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s refreshed forage cropping resources.
Despite the organisation’s continued advocacy to make aspects of the regulations more workable for farmers and the environment, B+LNZ’s environmental policy team has re-written existing winter forage crop resources to ensure farmers have the information they need as they select the appropriate paddock in which to establish, grow and graze winter forage crops. This advice also largely applies to summer forage crops.
B+LNZ’s General Manager North Island Matt Ward says they have made the re-written Top Tips for Winter Crop Paddock Selection and Paddock Selection WOF available now to help farmers as they go through the process of selecting paddocks for next year’s winter forage crops.
“These resources incorporate all farmers need to know to ensure they are compliant with the new regulations and start the transition process for when the regulations come into effect, but this doesn’t mean B+LNZ has stopped advocating the Government to find more practical solutions to some of the flawed aspects of the Essential Freshwater regulations.”
He says if farmers 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, they will need to apply for a resource consent and submit their consent application to their Regional Council by 31 October 2021.
Farmers who plan to increase either the area in winter crop or stocking densities next winter also need to talk to their Regional Council.
Matt says it is even more critical that farmers show that they are doing their best to protect their soil and water resources and livestock this year, while their industry representatives work with the government to address areas of concern in the regulations, particularly sowing dates, the low slope map for stock exclusion and pugging.
“Top Tips for Winter Crop Paddock Selection and Paddock Selection WOF remind farmers of the need to consider factors such as crop type, slope, aspect, soil type, critical source areas, access to water and supplementary feed, shelter, loafing areas and stand-off pads when they are selecting suitable paddocks for next winter’s forage crops.
“Now is the time to be thinking of all these factors rather than just growing a crop then thinking about how it be used next winter.”
By demonstrating on-farm best-practice, farmers will show both central and regional governments that they are the best people to look after their natural resources without the need for overly prescriptive regulations.
To access these resources go to:
For clarification of the winter grazing regulations go to: