AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING SPECIALISTS REPTEC

Winter Grazing Practices 2021/2022

As the standards continue to grow in New Zealand to maintain farm life, waterways & wetlands, farmers are expected to continually improve practices to ensure this is achieved, a hard job for sure but worth it.
The government has outlined 4 steps to help in this direction;
Plan – get going on a winter management plan now, including an adverse weather plan, especially when you know there are risks involved. You should create a simple farm map with your wintering blocks, risks, and mitigations identified. Include instructions for staff such as, stack baleage here, shift portable troughs and/or graze from the top of the slope or stand-off area. Remember photos at the beginning of the winter grazing season are helpful to demonstrate your initial set-up.
Do – during the winter, if things are not going to plan, change your plan, including your adverse weather plan. Write down the actions you changed and take photos. Before and after photos will be a good record of your progress. If the plan has been certified, you will need to talk to your advisor.
Check – check your plan as the season progresses and make adjustments where necessary to reduce the environmental and animal welfare risks. Ask for help when and where you need it. Your success is part of your community’s success and help is available.
Reflect and Review – at the end of your winter season it is important to look back on what worked well, actions in need of improvement, and what you will do next season to ensure you can comply with the national IWG regulations.
Compliance with the regulations may include being able to meet the permitted activity conditions, or gaining a resource consent, or (if available/required in your area) producing a Freshwater Farm Plan which is certified. You should be able to demonstrate continuous improvement to meet catchment and community goals.
 
Tips:

  • If/when placing bales out, do so away from waterways and critical source areas.
  • Use bale rings/feeders to improve utilisation (reptec.co.nz/shop/bale-feeder/)
  • Place the portable trough at the side of the break for ease of shifting.
  • Add a little extra when planning feed to cover extreme weather events.
  • Mark out critical source areas while they are visible during winter.
  • Make note of what worked & did not work for the following year preparations.

 
More tips & information available mpi.govt.nz