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
Farm systems: Sheep and Beef
The sheep and beef part of the programme is designed to provide new insights into GHG emissions from the sheep and beef sector by assessing the drivers of emissions for at least 100 real sheep and beef farms, representing all 8 B+LNZ farm classes, to identify characteristics for reducing GHG outputs. The data set generated will be relevant to all sheep and beef farmers and will be used to develop a diversity of recommendations and pathways for the sector that are beyond ‘averages’. Data and analysis from this programme will be used to enable sheep and beef farmers to understand which mitigation approaches are most effective across a range of farm classes. Individual farmers will be able to identify with one or more of the modelled real farms to see how they got from A to B with their GHG emissions and use these strategies to develop their own pathway to a lower emissions future. The new programme is also extending the work to date on two existing monitor farms – Highlands and Onetai Station. Aspirational mitigation options will be investigated (e.g. GHG at a collective level, carbon-neutral, integrated catchment management).
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