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Nationwide programme maps sustainable future for farming

Nationwide Programme Maps Sustainable Future For Farming

New Zealand’s agricultural sector is collaborating with government in a multi-million dollar nationwide programme to ensure a sustainable future for our pastoral industries.

Work from the second phase of the five year $38.5 million Pastoral 21 programme was showcased at the South Island Dairying Development Centre open day at the Lincoln University Research Dairy Farm today (Thurs 21 Feb).

Minister of Science and Innovation Hon. Steven Joyce, was given an update on some of the national projects, before being shown examples of the experimental programme on the research farm. The industry group also visited the Ashley Dene farm for an update on its lucerne and dryland research projects.

Pastoral 21 is a collaborative venture between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Fonterra and the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand. Its goal is to provide accessible systems-level solutions for profitably increasing pastoral production while reducing farms’ environmental footprint.

The programme brings together projects being undertaken throughout New Zealand under three main themes.

For the dairy industry, researchers are aiming to develop proven next generation dairy systems to increase profitability from production and reduce nitrogen and phosphorous losses to water.

For the sheep and beef industry, the programme is investigating innovative options for redesigning the diverse range of mixed livestock systems on hill country, to significantly lift productivity and profitability.

There are also two work streams looking at next generation ideas in feeds and the environment, aimed at reversing the current relationship between production gains and water quality impacts.

AgResearch Senior Scientist, Dr Mark Shepherd, is the science leader for the P21 Programme.

“This is a major programme, which brings together many strands of related research with the aim of providing New Zealand’s pastoral farmers a set of solutions that will enable a sustainable future for their businesses, both financially and environmentally,” he says.

“The government and industry funding is enabling us to combine the knowledge and experience of New Zealand’s universities, industry bodies and research institutes to offer a cleaner, greener and more profitable roadmap for the future of farming in New Zealand.”

AgResearch is managing the programme, with research being done by DairyNZ, Massey University, Lincoln University, Plant & Food Research, NIWA, Landcare Research and On-farm Research.

ENDS

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