Winter grazing changes embraced

As winter is coming to an end, I thought I would write about how we farmers have adapted to the new winter grazing rules and consents so well.

With only one major weather event in North Otago of 70mm and a few smaller wet weather systems we have had a mild winter. But we have still had wet, muddy conditions to manage.

Looking around the district, just about every farm has adopted the environmentally correct crop grazing procedures, including grazing towards water ways, staying away from low lying paddocks in wetter conditions and having dry areas for stock to lie down on.

I’ve been told that the Waitaki District had the highest uptake in the Otago Regional Council area for winter grazing consents. Well done us. ORC has been a lot cheaper and easier to apply to get a consent than Environment Canterbury.

Not all farms have bothered with the cost of a consent, but from what I’ve seen just about all farmers are changing their winter management practices.

I’ve read a couple of articles lately saying we need to do more to improve our waterways. We are already doing a lot it is just going to take time for our farming management changes to filter down to the water ways.

The 190 N cap and winter grazing rules have only just been implemented and will have a huge effect on water quality within a few years, but it’s not going to change the quality of a river overnight like some may think.


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