Excluding stock from waters is, in most situations, the single most effective management practice on farm for improving water quality.
Livestock can contribute nutrients (primarily nitrogen and phosphorus), sediment and faecal coliforms to our waterways. They do this though the direct deposition of dung and urine into rivers, and the treading damage and reduction in beneficial vegetation that results from grazing stream banks. These actions also stimulate a range of other effects in stream that reduce the quality of water, the ecological health of our streams and riparian margins. Effluent in our waterways can also be a human health risk and is culturally offensive to iwi.
The rule of thumb is that we do not want to see stock standing in water. This may mean excluding stock all year round or just excluding them in winter.
Planting and management of riparian strips alongside waterways is not a condition of the Tukituki Plan Change. It is actively encouraged because it has multiple benefits for both water quality and biodiversity, and can also help with farm management. The regional council has good quality native plants for sale – further information is provided here.
The definition of stock unit that the Regional Council uses are the same as those used in the Beef & Lamb survey, and for benchmarking stock classes not included in the survey, the overseer defaults are used.
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