NZ to invest in agriculture and environment
$34 million will be invested in public and private
sector research to boost farm productivity and curb agricultural pollution in
New Zealand. The projects will aim at squeezing more energy out of stock
feed and reducing contamination from farm run-off.
The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology
(FoRST), the government's research funding body, teams up with three industry
bodies to pump the money into two AgResearch projects aimed at increasing
agricultural output while easing the sector's environmental impact.
said it would provide the projects with $4.3 million a year for four years, with
Dairy Insight, Fonterra and Meat and Wool New Zealand together matching that
Farmer friendly tools
AgResearch beat other competitors
for the funds with bids centred on proposals to help farmers squeeze more energy
out of stock feed and reduce contamination from farm run-off.
senior scientist Cecile de Klein, who will lead the team tackling environmental
fallout, said the project hoped to develop "farmer-friendly" tools and
technologies for monitoring, measuring and reducing nitrogen, phosphate and
faecal material pollution into waterways.
The second project, headed by AgResearch's Derek Woodfield, aims
to boost farm productivity by increasing the amount of energy animals could
extract from their feed.
His team would investigate alternative feed sources
to traditional ryegrass-clover pastures and research changes in composition via
genetic manipulation and traditional breeding to boost traits in foraging plants
that either delivered more energy or increased the breakdown of feed during
digestion, he said.
The research planned for the next four years would
bring together seven organisations and deliver "some concrete outcomes", he
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