Plants & GHGs

The NZAGRC’s former nitrous oxide and soil carbon work streams were combined into one programme this year. This ensures a strong overall framework, closer communication and full GHG analyses across the programme. The programme focusses on three key areas:

1. Identifying and prioritising plant traits for low GHG emissions;

2. Mitigation practices to maintain soil carbon and reduce nitrous oxide emissions at paddock scale; and

3. Defining the achievable soil carbon stabilisation capacity of New Zealand grassland soils.

Current progress and research stories

Irrigation effects modelled

The CenW model developed for Waikato farms was compared against three years of eddy-covariance data from an irrigated grazed pasture in the Canterbury region. CenW was used to compare three irrigation management scenarios: no irrigation (dairy grazed), real life irrigation (dairy grazed), and sheep grazing (no irrigation or fertiliser). This initial modelling demonstrated that carbon accumulation was maximised with about 1100mm of combined rainfall and irrigation.

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