During 2017/18 new work plans have been developed for both the sheep and beef and dairy components of the Integrated Farm Systems research programme out to mid 2019.
These have been co-developed with significant input from Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and DairyNZ respectively to ensure alignment with relevant industry investment, initiatives and extension programmes. Work is now underway on the research outlined below.
Dr Robyn Dynes, AgResearch
Current progress and research stories
Sheep & Beef work to identifying strategies to reduce GHGs
The NZAGRC team are working with two B+LNZ monitor farms. The farms now have substantial, robust data and baseline farm systems models which demonstrate the extent to which the key management decisions and efficiency drivers impact on current emissions intensity. The farms are at very different points in development cycle, so provide useful perspectives for informing the wider industry.
Practice-change scenarios have been modelled to predict emissions intensity for Onetai station, a coastal sheep and beef farm in the King country. Scenarios incorporating increased fertiliser use and finishing more stock on farm have predicted a 20 to 38% improvement in emissions intensity is possible.
Scenarios modelled for Highlands (South Canterbury) monitor farm demonstrate the potential for a win-win solution when the area sown in Lucerne and Tall Fescue is increased. This enables more lambs to be finished earlier and results in a large a large effect on lowering emissions intensity. This scenario is assessed as being readily adoptable by farmers.