A Minute with Marco - June

Welcome back to Kaikōura and Hurunui Waiau Uwha zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni's column.

Kia ora everyone,

Can you believe we're in June already? 2023 is flying by!

Soil Conservation and Revegetation Programme widens its scope

Kaikōura and Hurunui Waiau Uwha zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni

Kaikōura and Hurunui Waiau Uwha zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni

One exciting update I am pleased to be able to share with you is about our Soil Conservation and Revegetation Programme, or as it’s known in short, our SCAR Programme. It has been running in Kaikōura and Hurunui Waiau Uwha for the last four years and is now expanding into the Waimakariri zone.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has just announced another four years of funding for the programme. It aims to reduce erosion and sediment loss and stabilise damaged land in North Canterbury’s hill country.

Farmer involvement

Farmers taking part in the programme are helping decrease the amount of sediment washed into waterways by planting poplar and willow poles (tree cuttings) on sloping land, retiring erosion-prone land, identifying erosion-prone land with Land Use Capability maps and adjusting farm management methods to better manage erosion.

Last winter, 100 landowners received a share of 8000 willow/poplar poles to plant on their erosion-prone land. This was an increase of 40 landowners from the year before. I’m looking forward to seeing the programme expand further as we add Waimakariri into the mix.

Grape marc storage reminder

Switching topics now – just a reminder for farmers as they prepare to store stock feed for the winter that although cheap and easy, the storage of grape marc requires a consent.

Grape marc, sometimes called pomace, is the solid waste left over from processing grapes into wine and is considered industrial trade waste. It is extremely high in nutrients and cheap to purchase for stock feed. 

It emits high levels of nutrients, so requires careful management to make sure it’s not impacting the environment.

The storage of this product is not a permitted activity under the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan, and therefore a resource consent is required to do so.

Our local resource management officers are actively monitoring any storage of the product and any storage without a consent runs the risk of failing a Farm Audit.

With all the hard work that farmers and the community are undertaking to improve and restore water quality throughout the region, it’s important that these risks are managed properly.

Talk to us first

Before buying, storing or using grape marc, farmers are encouraged to contact us for advice.

It’s best to explore your options before you store grape marc. Call 0800 324 636 or email ecinfo@ecan.govt.nz.

See you in August

Avid readers may have noticed I didn’t do a column for May. This is because we are now switching to a doing column every second month.

But don’t worry, I’m always free for a chat – if there’s something you want to discuss, get in touch with me on 027 241 7951 or marco.cataloni@ecan.govt.nz and if I can’t help, I’ll find someone who can.

Speak again in August!

Until then, keep well,