DairyNZ is the centre of on-farm dairy research and development in New Zealand.

 DairyNZ includes teams of researchers with skills relevant to the Centre in dairy farm systems management, dairy cow feeding and growth, milk production performance, environmental science, on-farm practice change and technology uptake.




  • Dairy committed to lowering environmental impact

    Commenting on today’s OECD Environmental Performance Review announcement, DairyNZ’s chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the dairy sector is committed to lowering its environmental impact, while protecting the valuable contribution dairying makes to the economy.

    “Dairy farming is a major driver in the New Zealand economy improving everyone’s lifestyle in this country. This is both directly and indirectly, and in rural and urban communities,” he says.

    Read more

  • 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
    • Vaccine
    • Inhibitors

    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.

    Download presentation 

  • Decreasing methane emissions by feeding grazing ruminants: a fit with productive and financial realities?

    Pacheco, D., G. Waghorn, et al. (2014). "Decreasing methane emissions from ruminants grazing forages: a fit with productive and financial realities?" Animal Production Science 54(9): 1141-1154.

    Ruminants contribute to human food supply and also anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An understanding of production systems and information on animal populations has enabled global inventories of ruminant GHG emissions (methane and nitrous oxide), and dietary strategies are being developed to reduce GHG emissions from ruminants. Mitigation strategies need to consider the management/feeding systems used to ensure that these strategies will be readily accepted and adopted by farmers. Housed systems allow diets to be formulated in ways that may reduce GHG production, but the challenge is much greater for systems where animals graze outdoors for long periods. A methane mitigation option in the form of fresh forage would be desirable in livestock production systems with high reliance on grazing. A brief summary of New Zealand research, carried out on fresh grasses, legumes, herbs and crops, suggest that we have an incomplete understanding of the feed characteristics that define a ‘high’ or a ‘low’ methane feed. The variation in methane emissions measured between feeds, individual animals and experiment is large, even in controlled conditions, and the dynamic nature of sward-animal interactions will only exacerbate this variation, creating challenges beyond the identification of mitigants. Furthermore, implementation of knowledge gained from controlled studies requires validation under grazing systems to identify any trade-offs between methane reduction and animal productivity or emission of other pollutants. Therefore, investment and research should be targeted at mitigation options that can and will be adopted on-farm, and the characteristics of temperate grasslands farming suggest that these options may differ from those for intensive (high input/output) or extensive (low input/output) systems.



Join our news and information mailing list: