Winter grazing: DairyNZ calls for pragmatic solutions

24 August 2020

DairyNZ shares Federated Farmers concerns about how the Government’s new winter grazing regulations will be applied but do not condone any calls to boycott the rules, says DairyNZ head of South Island Tony Finch. 

“Some of the regulations appear to be impractical and unworkable on farm. The timeframes are tight, and clarity is needed on things like how pugging in a paddock would be measured or monitored and defining slope levels of a paddock for regional councils.

“As a sector we need to be using the right channels to work through the issues as we try to find pragmatic solutions that work for everyone. DairyNZ is instead calling an urgent meeting with all parties to explore a pathway forward.

“Dairy farmers share the Government’s aspiration for healthy waterways, but solutions need to be fair and underpinned by robust science. This has always been DairyNZ’s approach. 

“We will continue to engage with Government and councils on farmers’ behalf to ensure that new regulations are pragmatic, and farmers and their businesses have adequate time to adjust.

“DairyNZ will also continue to work closely with farmers to improve winter grazing practices. Over the last 18 months we have developed and heavily promoted good management practices that are designed to help minimise environmental and animal welfare risks during winter grazing.

“Farmers who need support or guidance can call DairyNZ on 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 324 7969) .

“We acknowledge there are still challenges, particularly on heavier soils and steeper land, but farmers are making great progress and are confident we will continue to see improvement,” Mr Finch concluded.

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