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


The most well-known calculator for estimating GHG emissions in farm is using is the nutrient budgeting tool OVERSEER®.

This uses nitrogen inputs and outputs, as well as the number and productivity of animals, to calculate the unique nutrient budget of a farm, and makes broad inferences from nutrients to greenhouse gases using simplified relationships.

OVERSEER® can only provide an approximate farm-level greenhouse gas assessment, since it does not fully reflect all the variables that can affect the unique greenhouse gas budget of a farm (e.g. the specific soil moisture profile and microclimate on the farm).

Read more (external website)

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