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Information sheet: Restricting stock from waterways

Survey of Rural Decision Makers 2021

Dairy and beef farmers are taking measures to restrict stock from waterways.

Results of fencing waterways

For most commercial dairy and beef farmers, fencing waterways improved the farm’s environmental performance. Fencing also led to better management outcomes.

Fencing waterways didn’t affect how most farmers viewed their resilience to changing climate. It also didn’t affect the overall profitability of most farms.

Diagram: Results of fencing waterways

Extent of waterways fenced in 6 selected regions

Icon: dairy farmersDairy farmers are fencing nearly all the wetlands on their properties, especially in Taranaki, Southland and Northland, where 95% or more of the extent of wetlands on farms is fenced. Southland dairy farmers have fenced the highest proportion of streams.

Icon: Sheep & beef farmersThe majority of major streams on commercial sheep and beef farms in Waikato, Northland, and Manawatu-Whanganui are fenced, with Taranaki and Southland not far behind. Stock are excluded from most of the extent of wetlands on commercial sheep and beef properties.

Map: Extent of waterways fenced in 6 selected regions

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The Survey of Rural Decision Makers (SRDM) is a biennial survey of New Zealand’s primary sector conducted by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research since 2013. It covers commercial farmers, foresters and growers as well as lifestyle block owners from Cape Reinga to Rakiura.

SRDM is designed to build a better picture of decision making at the farm level, tackling topics that cannot be easily addressed in official statistics or directly by organisations. It is a valuable resource for policy makers, regional councils, industry groups and businesses.

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