Agricultural greenhouse gases & the New Zealand deer industry

Quick facts

  • Forty-nine percent of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture.
  • At the same time, more than 38% of New Zealand's merchandisable exports come from agriculture. 
  • Total New Zealand deer numbers (at 30 June 2015) exceed 907,000
  • Venison exports total 14,869 tonnes (at September 2015)

What's changed in the beef & sheep sectors since 1990 in on farm practices?

  • Increased carcass weight
  • Shorter time to slaughter


What's the impact of these on farm changes on productivity?

  • Increased finished weight of animal 
  • Increased meat yield per hectare (kg meat/ha) 

What's the effect of these changes on emissions intensity? 

Emissions intensity of the New Zealand deer sector is lower and a great proportion of feed goes to production rather than maintenance.

What's the latest from industry?

Deer Industry New Zealand & DEEResearch Read more

On farm practice change summary tables

On farm practice Effect on farm productivity Effect on emissions intensity (net)

Increased carcass weights

Shorter time to slaughter

Increased finished weight of animal 


Increased meat yield per hectare (kg meat/ha) 




* Greater proportion of feed goes to production rather than maintenance *


What else is being done to lower emissions on farm?

The NZAGRC is working in partnership with the PGgRc to explore options to mitigate GHGs on New Zealand farms.  An overview publication is available for download

pdf NZAGRC_PGgRC_What are we doing_ed2.pdf (17.12MB)

or you can read about our research programme

More information

Professor Louis Schipper talks about soil carbon

Louis Schipper talks to Bryan Crump on RNZ Nights about soil carbon. He talks about soil organic matter, soil density, nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur), land use and the ways we can store more carbon in soil to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmostphere without reducing food production.

Louis also talks about the 4 pour mille initiative and its challenge to increase carbon content of soils by 0.4% per year to offset fossil fuel emissions.

Listen (external link)

About Louis



Back to News