1115 Rick Pridmore, Strategy and Investment Leader for Sustainability (DairyNZ)
Rick provided the conference delegates with an overview of the New Zealand investment landscape for reducing agricultural greenhouse gases.
He highlighted that New Zealand is putting in a great deal of effort into reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and conducting top class science, which in many areas is nearing proof of concept.
Rick also emphasised that there are a significant number of funders in this area covering government, industry, the universities and CRIs.
At the research end, the plans and investment are fairly coordinated, mainly due to the actions of the NZAGRC and PGgRc, however at the applied end there is room for improvement. This is primarily due to the fact that there are many issues to be considered on-farm and greenhouse gas emissions are just one of the factors in the mix.
New Zealand farm greenhouse gas emissions intensity has been decreasing at approximately 1% per year due to increased efficiency and the goal is to keep this rate going into the future, but on top of that, reduce emissions intensity by a further 1.5% per year by additional technological options. This 1.5% may be achieved by step changes between 2020 and 2050, rather than a gradual decline.
Rick outlined the four key research aims of the NZAGRC-PGgRc methane programme:
- Animal Selection
- Low greenhouse gas Feeds
Breaking News: In the last four months, five lead inhibitor compounds have been shown to reduce methane emissions from animals by 30-90%, which is very exciting. Once proof of concept has been firmly established, commercial partners will be sought to take prototype vaccines and inhibitors through into the hands of the farming community. See more about this
Rick concluded by pointing out that 10 years ago, the task of reducing agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions seemed enormous, and that we should all be proud that we are nearly there.