Practical support is being rolled out to help farmers improve their intensive winter grazing practices. Ag Minister Damien O’Connor says if done poorly or too extensively, winter grazing has serious negative effects on both animal welfare and the environment, particularly freshwater and estuary health. MPI and the Ministry for the Environment, along with local councils and industry representatives, have developed an online tool to help improve practices. Damien O’Connor says farmers can mitigate the effects of grazing livestock on fodder crops during the winter months by leaving a buffer of at least 5m next to waterways, grazing crops top down where they grow on a slope, and by using portable water troughs to limit livestock movements. The module contained a template that farmers can use to develop a plan to manage their intensive winter grazing activities. The module will be able to be incorporated into wider freshwater farm plans when they are rolled out from early 2022. 0800 FARMING is the number to call of you want to give feedback. And if you have concerns about animal welfare there is MPI’s animal welfare hotline on 0800 00 83 33.