Dairy NZ calls for winter grazing changes

DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel. Photo: Supplied
DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel. Photo: Supplied
DairyNZ is calling on the Government to respond to the Southland Advisory Group’s recommendations to improve winter grazing rules.

In a statement, DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel said DairyNZ supported the group’s recommendation for the Government to make several changes to its National Environmental Standard for Freshwater regulations, such as amendments to pugging and resowing dates.

The group’s recommendations aimed to ensure winter grazing rules were clear and achievable for farmers and would lead to better environmental outcomes, he said.

In the statement, Southland dairy farmer and group member Paul Turner said it was important for farmers to get clarity around what they were doing for next season, and beyond, in terms of wintering practices, investment decisions and logistics on the farm.

"People are holding back because they are unsure what to do from a regulatory perspective."

Replacing sowing date and pugging recommendations, and protecting critical source areas, would ensure better outcomes for waterway health, Mr Turner said.

Last month, Southland MP Joseph Mooney and Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds wrote a letter to Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor to express the "ongoing and deep concerns of the farming community in Southland’’ about the regulations.

The National MPs requested clarification from the ministers on whether the recommendations made by the group would be adopted or be given clarification on when a decision would be made on the group’s recommendations.


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