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Hawke's Bay catchment team ready for winter

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is continuing its focus on grazing practices ahead of this year’s winter season.

“We’re putting out a friendly reminder to livestock grazers to operate within the rules so they don’t unintentionally become a feedlot,” says the Regional Council’s Central Catchment Manager Brendan Powell.

Farmers are now much more aware of the impact that poor winter grazing practices have on water quality. Grazing of winter crops is particularly important to plan in advance to get right. The result of good winter grazing is a lot less sediment and nutrients finding its way to waterways,” adds Mr Powell.

In recent years, primary industry groups and regional councils have had very consistent and combined messaging to land owners on good practice winter crop management.

Those messages include the three top tips for winter grazing: graze paddocks strategically, exclude stock from waterways, and leave an ungrazed buffer zone around critical source areas – where any flows over land most readily find their way to waterways.

The Regional Council has 16 resource consents for feedlots and will monitor these over winter. Fifteen of these are active, which is unchanged from 2018.

The rules governing land use for the Tukituki catchment and Ruataniwha Plains area are in the Tukituki Plan.

Information on Good Farm Practices to improve production, performance and land use is at hbrc.govt.nz, search: #GFP

Winter strip grazing requires good operational management. In recent years, livestock grazers in Hawke's Bay have been talking more regularly to primary industry groups, receiving consistent messages and support to deliver Good Farm Practices.

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