Farmer input delivers practical wintering options

16 March 2021

DairyNZ is pleased collaborative action and the farming sector’s input has delivered practical winter grazing decisions, which sees farmers able to continue delivering on good practice changes.

“The Government’s decision to deliver change via an intensive winter grazing module as part of certified farm plans, rather than rules, is good news for farmers,” said DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel.

“Farmers now have time to continue implementing good management practices that will drive positive progress. These will be supported by the winter grazing module and monitoring.

“It’s pleasing to see today’s decision. This gives farmers reassurance they can prepare for winter. It’s been highly collaborative and we will continue working together to deliver good practice winter grazing,” said Mr van der Poel.

In December, the Southland Advisory Group recommended the Government make several changes to rules under the National Environmental Standard for Freshwater. These included proposed amendments to pugging and resowing dates.

“We want to acknowledge the Government’s approach with the Southland Advisory Group, which has been inclusive and collaborative. We are pleased the recommendations have been heard by the Government on this very important issue.  There is still more detail to work through, but we are confident we will make progress,” said Mr van der Poel.

“Farmers know what good management practices are and, by working together, we are seeing improvements year on year.”

Mr van der Poel said DairyNZ is looking forward to working with Government, farmers, councils and other stakeholders to continue the positive work already achieved.

The Southland Advisory Group is made up of two farmer representatives and DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Environment Southland, Federated Farmers and Fish and Game representatives.  It was formed after farmers expressed their concerns about their ability to implement the regulations, wanting fair and pragmatic solutions.

Southland dairy farmer and Dairy Environment Leader Ewen Mathieson said it has been positive to see the government engaging with the Southland Advisory Group, which has represented farmers.

“This is a window of opportunity for farmers to take ownership of our pathway forward. We need to ensure we are all implementing good management practice this coming winter – it’s important we understand our actions will define our pathway forward.”

DairyNZ supported the Southland Advisory Group’s recommendations to Government as a way to ensure winter grazing rules are clear and achievable for farmers, and lead to better environmental outcomes. DairyNZ recently called for the changes to be announced, in time for winter.

Good practice wintering information is available on DairyNZ’s website,

Media inquiries:

Vanessa Feaver

Senior Media Manager

Phone 027 836 6295

Ali Tocker

Senior Media Specialist

Phone 027 364 7532

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