Thursday, April 25, 2024

Southland compliance efforts on track

Neal Wallace
Southland farmers are being praised by their regional council after an aerial inspection of winter grazing practices last week found almost all were being exceptionally well managed.
Two more aerial surveillances for winter grazing compliance is scheduled for this year, but findings have been mostly positive so far. File photo
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Three farmers will have follow-up inspection as potentially having issues, but Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips describes the survey as revealing “excellent compliance.”

“I’m really pleased with what the team has seen,” Phillips said.

“These flights help to reinforce that what’s being seen from the road isn’t always reflective of a breach of rules or environmental damage.

“Farmers are working hard and understanding the situation and making a real effort to improve things.

“This sustained improvement is something that Southland as a whole can be proud of.” 

The flight covered a large portion of eastern Southland, from Waituna, Fortrose and Waikawa, to Mataura, Waikaka and Riversdale areas, and Phillips noted one area that could be improved was the grazing of buffers.

“We noticed that while there were good buffers in place, some had been grazed,” he said.

“It’s important buffers are left ungrazed to remain an effective tool for reducing sediment getting to waterways.”

Further aerial compliance flights are planned for other catchments.

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