Central government’s recent decision to delay Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG) rules until May 2022 following pressure from farming and industry groups, has provided farmers with a year-long opportunity to demonstrate how best practice management on-farm can influence future environmental policy.
If you practice IWG on your farm, now is the time to put your best foot forward, shine your Red Bands and prepare your paddocks like you would a cricket pitch, because farms all around the country could be host to some impromptu spectators this winter. While the thought of environmental groups and activists surreptitiously snapping photos may cause all sorts of unpleasant feelings, if you’re doing everything right (and more) and following the rules then swipe left on those feelings – keep your hands firmly on the wheel and focus on controlling what you can control and not worrying about what you can’t control.
Ministry for the Environment (MfE) have published a helpful document on the 2021/2022 Intensive Winter Grazing Module, which includes a step-by-step process, some good guidelines and recommendations and a paper-based template to include with your farm environment plan (FEP) and/or resource consent application.
What is unhelpful is that the template calls for information many farms manage in a digital format such as a farm map, stock movements and nutrient losses. Print more copies off? Fill in the same information about your farm for the fiftieth time? Really? If you’re a FarmIQ farmer then you can swipe left on that time-wasting nonsense and if you’re not (yet) then put your sunnies on because this is where FarmIQ can put the shine on your Red Bands. By recording stock and land activities and events and using the interactive map to its fullest potential you can manage, measure, report, record and provide all the evidence and proof potential regulators need to give your IWG practice the stamp of approval.
We’ve prepared a guide of where and how in FarmIQ you can address MfE’s Intensive Winter Grazing top ten actions for success - download here for free.
Be kind to yourself this winter, do your best to show Government that our IWG practice this season is the stuff of good future policy that serves everyone well, help your neighbour if you see they’re struggling to manage IWG on their farm and remember, you can only control what you can control.