B+LNZ has ‘farmers’ backs’ over new rules

Beef + Lamb New Zealand says it has "farmers’ backs" and will not stop advocating for them over the controversial freshwater rules.

In an update to farmers, chief executive Sam McIvor said the organisation had met Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Environment Minister David Parker in the past couple of weeks and it would seek meetings with Climate Change Minister James Shaw and newly appointed Forestry Minister Stuart Nash.

"Our focus has been on changes to the essential freshwater rules, making progress on the certified freshwater farm plan, holding them to their promises on issues like carbon farming and asking for a pause on new environmental rules. We’re also collaborating with other industry groups on these issues," Mr McIvor said.

Farmers had identified three key issues with the freshwater rules, including arbitrary resowing dates for winter grazing on forage crops which many farmers were not able to meet because of climatic and soil conditions.

That was being looked at now as part of the minister-mandated process led by Environment Southland to review the winter grazing rules and identify potential solutions to issues — which could also be applied across New Zealand.

B+LNZ was part of that process and was advising on practical solutions, guided by its belief that an overall effects-based approach for winter crops was a more practical and effective approach. Potential approaches were being tested with a variety of farmers nationwide and feeding that input into the group.

Unworkable pugging standards, and the lack of clarity about how they would be implemented and enforced, was also being looked at through the Environment Southland-led process and B+LNZ was "pushing hard for workable solutions".

Government and officials had publicly acknowledged inaccuracies in the low-slope map for stock exclusion needed to be addressed. B+LNZ had been meeting officials, making the case that the map should be replaced with a general rule that regional councils would be empowered to give effect to; that could be through either a 10-degree slope-trigger at the paddock scale or by undertaking their own regional mapping.

The Ministry for the Environment was asking for feedback from farmers to better understand the scale of issues and to help identify solutions.

B+LNZ encouraged farmers to provide feedback through the ministry website if their land was incorrectly identified as low-slope, as that would support its advocacy efforts. Farmers were also encouraged to talk to their regional councils about how the new freshwater rules would be enforced in their area.

Farmers had strongly told

B+LNZ they wanted help "identifying pathways forward", including through the new rules. In addition to fixing aspects of the rules, the organisation’s focus was on providing farmers with the right tools at the right time to help them meet requirements. It had published updated resources about winter grazing on its website and more resources would follow.Beef + Lamb New Zealand says it has "farmers’ backs" and will not stop advocating for them over the controversial freshwater rules.

In an update to farmers, chief executive Sam McIvor said the organisation had met Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Environment Minister David Parker in the past couple of weeks and it would seek meetings with Climate Change Minister James Shaw and newly appointed Forestry Minister Stuart Nash.

"Our focus has been on changes to the essential freshwater rules, making progress on the certified freshwater farm plan, holding them to their promises on issues like carbon farming and asking for a pause on new environmental rules. We’re also collaborating with other industry groups on these issues," Mr McIvor said.

Farmers had identified three key issues with the freshwater rules, including arbitrary resowing dates for winter grazing on forage crops which many farmers were not able to meet because of climatic and soil conditions.

That was being looked at now as part of the minister-mandated process led by Environment Southland to review the winter grazing rules and identify potential solutions to issues — which could also be applied across New Zealand.

B+LNZ was part of that process and was advising on practical solutions, guided by its belief that an overall effects-based approach for winter crops was a more practical and effective approach. Potential approaches were being tested with a variety of farmers nationwide and feeding that input into the group.

Unworkable pugging standards, and the lack of clarity about how they would be implemented and enforced, was also being looked at through the Environment Southland-led process and B+LNZ was "pushing hard for workable solutions".

Government and officials had publicly acknowledged inaccuracies in the low-slope map for stock exclusion needed to be addressed. B+LNZ had been meeting officials, making the case that the map should be replaced with a general rule that regional councils would be empowered to give effect to; that could be through either a 10-degree slope-trigger at the paddock scale or by undertaking their own regional mapping.

The Ministry for the Environment was asking for feedback from farmers to better understand the scale of issues and to help identify solutions.

B+LNZ encouraged farmers to provide feedback through the ministry website if their land was incorrectly identified as low-slope, as that would support its advocacy efforts. Farmers were also encouraged to talk to their regional councils about how the new freshwater rules would be enforced in their area.

Farmers had strongly told

B+LNZ they wanted help "identifying pathways forward", including through the new rules. In addition to fixing aspects of the rules, the organisation’s focus was on providing farmers with the right tools at the right time to help them meet requirements. It had published updated resources about winter grazing on its website and more resources would follow.

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