Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Make Sure You Have A Grazing Contract In Time For Winter

The Winter Grazing Action Group (WGAG) is stressing to farmers the importance of having grazing contracts in place for the coming season.

The group was set up by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor last year in response to a report from the Winter Grazing Taskforce, which made 11 recommendations to help ensure that animal welfare became a key part of all winter grazing decisions in the pastoral supply chain.

He said the action group’s job was to recommend ways to improve animal welfare following what he called “a lot of concern about managing winter grazing for cattle, sheep, and deer across the country”. The group’s 15 members represent industry organisations, government, vets, farmers, and other rural professionals. It is supported in its work by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

WGAG Chair, Lindsay Burton said the group was keen to emphasise the need for grazing contracts for livestock when grazed off farm to make sure health, nutrition and welfare needs are understood and managed especially during periods of greater risk like winter.

“With a clear plan in place and a contract to back it up, the issues that come up with grazing and the welfare of livestock through the winter are just that much easier to manage,” Dr Burton said.

“Where animals are intensively managed within the farm operation the same detailed requirements must be present in the farm management plan.”

A guide to help farmers with wintering practices is available on the Ministry’s website, and outlines seven key short-term outcomes:

  • ensuring animals give birth in the right environment,
  • being prepared for all weather conditions,
  • making sure animals can easily access acceptable drinking water,
  • planning for successful winter feeding,
  • providing animals with a comfortable lying down place,
  • working together to care for animals during winter, and
  • finding opportunities to improve.

“Factoring that kind of thinking into a grazing contract goes a long way towards ensuring animal health and welfare are properly looked after, said Dr Burton.

“Many farmers have already been proactive in making changes to their wintering systems and the hope is that by having written contracts or farm plans in place, that momentum can continue.”

Milton Munro, Technical Team Manager for PGG Wrightson and member of the action group, echoes these sentiments “caring for stock during winter is really important, which is why PGG Wrightson has updated our winter grazing contracts so that the key outcomes identified by the Action Group will be met.” he says.

“Our livestock staff who assist farmers with finding off-farm grazing are stressing the importance of good communication between both parties early on, along with the importance of planning for changing weather conditions when required to ensure all stock are well cared for and a plan is in place for any animals that need extra attention.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Stats: Auckland’s Population Falls For The First Time
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s population growth slowed down with Auckland recording a population decline for the first time ever, Stats NZ said today. “New Zealand saw slowing population growth in all regions... More>>

BusinessNZ: Third Snapshot Report Reveals $9.5 Billion Business Investment In Climate Action

Signatories to the Climate Leaders Coalition have committed to invest $9.5 billion over the next five years to reduce emissions from their businesses, as revealed in their third anniversary snapshot report released today... More>>

Digitl: The home printer market is broken
Printers are more of a security blanket that a serious aid to productivity. Yet for many people they are not optional.
Even if you don’t feel the urge to squirt ink onto dead trees in order to express yourself, others will insist on printed documents... More>>

Retail NZ: Some Good News In COVID Announcements, But Firm Dates Needed

Retail NZ is welcoming news that the Government is increasing financial support for businesses in light of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, and that retail will be able to open at all stages of the new “Covid Protection Framework... More>>

ComCom: Companies In Hot Water For Selling Unsafe Hot Water Bottles And Toys

A wholesaler and a retailer have been fined a total of $140,000 under the Fair Trading Act for selling hot water bottles and toys that did not comply with mandatory safety requirements. Paramount Merchandise Company Limited (Paramount) was fined $104,000 after pleading guilty in the Manukau District Court... More>>

Reserve Bank: Robust Balance Sheets Yield Faster Economic Recovery

Stronger balance sheets for households, businesses, financial institutions and the government going into the pandemic contributed towards maintaining a sound financial system and yielding a faster economic recovery than following previous deep recessions... More>>