New Zealand sheep and beef farmers are going to get even more pressure over environmental regulation, according to Rabobank. It’s not just dairy farmers now who have been under scrutiny for some time – running sheep and beef farms also means you need to plan for even more red tape, interference and regulation. The Rabobank rural manager of sustainable farming systems, Blake Holgate has released a report on how to deal with the issue to help support farmers.
Sheep and beef farmers occupy 30 percent of New Zealand’s land area and represent 71 percent of pastoral land use. Regulators can choose whether to strictly enforce all parts of the legislation or be more selective. For example, they could enforce that all natural flowing waterways must be fulling fenced to exclude stock to prevent damage or could they could just require that stock must not enter a waterway.
“The rule is there can be no damage to the beds of waterways by stock, doesn’t matter what that is. Sheep are less likely to stand in waterways, but cattle do,” Holgate said.
That’s a tough requirement for farmers to deliver.
There are even more industry guidelines for dairy farmers than for sheep and beef farmers. Holgate said the biggest pollution problems facing the sheep and beef sector were contaminants carried to water via surface run-offs such as phosphorus, sediment and faecal microbes. The report also urges sheep and beef farmers to pay close attention to the regulation of nitrogen leaching within their region.
“As relatively low leachers of nitrogen, sheep and beef farmers will need to be cautious of any framework that caps nitrogen limits at, or below, their existing leaching levels, preventing them from intensifying their current operation, or converting to more intensive land uses,” Holgate said.
With this legislation being enforced, many farmers can find it overwhelming and time-consuming. Here at Plasma Biotec we consistently stand with our farmers and growers against extra costs and legislation imposed. We’ve been supporting New Zealand agriculture and horticulture for more than 35 years with our naturally-derived fertilisers and animal supplements. We’ll come to you to advise on the best ways of boosting your yields and staying within the legislation.
Give us a call on 09 634 0142 and we’ll help.

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