Business Rural Autumn 201

92 | MEAT & WOOL » Lorne Peak Station: Matthew Tayler Workable solutions prove a win-win Russell Fredric C hanges made to the pastoral and environment management of Lorne Peak station are a good example of how positive collaboration with regulators can create a win-win, lessee Matthew Tayler says. Matthew runs the 5600 hectare station with his wife Shona, supported by his parents Phillip and Jenny Tayler. Lorne Peak has been in the family since 1960. The station comprises 5600 hectares of which about 5300 hectares is Crown pastoral lease land, part of which is about 15 kilometres south of Lake Wakatipu on a main tourist route to Queenstown. About 2000ha is above the snowline; 400ha is in native bush and 1500ha is cultivated land with the balance oversown and top-dressed. The station supports 9500 Wairere romney ewes, 2500 replacement hoggets, the majority of which are lambed, with 1000 additional lambs being win- tered. Cattle are Angus/Hereford cross comprising 450 cows which are mated, 150 heifers which are also mated, 50 heifers, 200 steers finished on fodder beet and 450 R1’s; 650 R1 Friesian bulls are bought in as calves and 350 R2’s are brought in during au- tumn and finished the following spring. Matthew is a Federated Farmers High Country Industry Group committee member. Working with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for many years has shown how the new freshwater rules could have been better developed and imple- mented, he says. “Anything we do here, LINZ and DOC has to ap- prove. Any cultivation or limitation of stock, and LINZ have a say. “To a point, we’ve been operating under the rules that are coming in for the last 15 years so it’s not going to take a big adjustment. “We are still kind of going to have to make ad- justments, but I can kind of see my way through it, whereas for a lot of people, I can see its very daunt- “Anything we do here, LINZ and DOC has to approve. Any cultivation or limitation of stock, and LINZ have a say. To a point, we’ve been operating under the rules that are coming in for the last 15 years so it’s not going to take a big adjustment.” Changes to irrigation and drought tolerant lucerne provides more feed security on lowland pasture at Lorne Peak Station, resulting in much of the high country being retired - preserving snow tussock and reducing sediment and phosphate losses. Kelvin Murray Rocky - - - PROUD TO SUPPORT MATTHEW TAYLER Ph: (03) 236 0466 Fax: (03) 236 0467 LIVESTOCK, GENERAL CARTAGE & FERTILISER SPREADING IT’S TIME TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY GROWSOME JUST LIKE LORNE PEAK STATION Proudly supporting MatthewTayler FOR ALL YOUR SHEARING AND CRUTCHING REQUIREMENTS OPEN THROUGH TO FULL CONTRACT Linton 027 326 5542 ing,” Matthew says. “Some of the draft rules that have come out are just impractical.” An extremely useful aspect of the pastoral lease is that when a consent is required for any aspect of the station’s, representatives of DOC and LINZ make a visual assessment on-farm. As a result, some proposed mitigations have shown not to be borne out in practice, but workable solutions have been a win-win for the farm environ- ment while also being profitable. “Unless they actually step on to a farm it’s very hard to see.” Through its farm environment plan and Overseer modelling, some things that were thought to be environmental issues were proven not to be; con- versely other “blind spots” that needed addressing have been revealed. “On our farm nitrate isn’t too much of a problem, our main issues are sediment and P (phosphorous). There are some pretty cool mitigations that we’re putting in place.” These include constructing wetland and sediment ponds and bunds in the hills which creates biodiver- sity benefits while mitigating sediment and nutrient run-off. “When you’ve got high rainfall events it acts like detention ponds – it slows the water down the catchment.” A stock irrigation scheme which provides 200 water troughs has also been developed; last year alone the Tayler’s spent $100,000 on environmental mitigation work. An example of a change in farming practices is that the station’s ewes used to be moved to the high country, above 900 metres, during the summer. Because of a change to irrigation and drought- tolerant lucerne, which provides more feed secu- rity on lowland pasture, the high country has been largely retired, preserving snow tussock and reduc- ing sediment and phosphate losses. Because part of Mataura River runs through the station, these enhancements have far reaching ef- fects downstream in the catchment.