Proposed winter grazing regulations deemed “unworkable” by farming groups are being pushed back by the Government. The proposed amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management includes doing away with compulsory sowing dates in favour of an as soon as practical approach. Intensive winter grazing is when livestock are fed fodder crops – but when done poorly or the weather is too wet it can create a muddy mess leading to animal welfare and environmental issues. The original proposal had all sowing of winter crops in Southland and Otago needing to be completed by November 1. But the amendment now includes getting rid of pugging and replanting date conditions, replacing them with a requirement to protect critical source areas. Regulations aimed at improving intensive winter grazing practices were to come into effect from May this year, but were then deferred until May 2022. The government has now pushed them back another six months until November 2022.
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