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Good Uptake of Winter Grazing Rule

MEDIA RELEASE: Good Uptake of Winter Grazing Rule

Environment Southland has seen a good uptake of the intensive winter grazing rule by farmers this year. The rule requires farmers to keep stock at least three metres away from waterways during the winter months and is part of a range of measures used to maintain and improve water quality in Southland.

The intensive winter grazing rule, which applies from 1 May to 30 September, requires farmers to keep stock at least 3 metres away from any waterways. This helps ensure that nutrients and sediment from winter grazed paddocks do not enter the water and degrade water quality.

A monitoring flight over western Southland this month found that many property owners had made good efforts, and in only nine instances it appeared that stock had been grazed closer to a waterway than allowed by the rule. These are currently being followed up.

Senior Compliance Officer, Ian Temple said that given the large area covered during the flight, the good news heavily outweighed the bad. “There were some striking examples of excellent riparian management, so overall, things are looking positive and on the right track,” he said.

Although Environment Southland has a variety of responses available to respond to non-compliance, Mr Temple said “education and advice” were always considered in the first instance.

Senior Land Sustainability Officer, Gary Morgan said now was also a good time to remind farmers about best practice winter crop grazing. “Maintaining good riparian buffer zones, grazing towards the waterway and back fencing breaks will significantly reduce sediment and contaminant runoff into waterways and help maintain soil structure,” he said.

For more info on the winter grazing rule, and for helpful tips on best practice, visit http://www.es.govt.nz/media/5681/intensive-winter-grazing.pdf

ENDS

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