New Zealand First welcomes today’s announcement to amendments to the winter grazing rules announced by Agriculture Minister Damian O’Connor.
New Zealand First Agriculture Spokesperson and South Otago Sheep and Beef Farmer Mark Patterson says “that while we acknowledge the necessity of farmers adopting best practice around winter grazing, the rules as previously announced were unpractical and unworkable”.
“While New Zealand First supports the overall intent of the previous drafting, we had concerns about some of the details which were going to be unworkable in the practical sense.”
“Winter grazing of crops is an important part of farming systems, particularly in Otago and Southland, and it is vital farmers have a pragmatic set of rules to follow which allow access to winter cropping while ensuring significantly better environmental and animal welfare outcomes.”
“Any effort to ensure that the standards are realistic and practical are a step in the right direction.”
“We welcome the commitment of the Minister to continue to work with farmers and regional councils to achieve sensible and achievable solutions.”