Technology not taken up by NZ farmers

14-03-2007 | |
Technology not taken up by NZ farmers

The country’s biggest crown research institute AgResearch says New Zealand is not working fast enough to reduce farm-based greenhouse gas emissions to avert the “food miles” threat to exports.

According to AgResearch said that while its scientists
are working as fast as they can to find ways to reduce farm-based emissions,
farmers could be doing more right now by improving pasture and feed patterns.
Chairman Rick Christie said farmers could improve their productivity by 10% by
seizing latest technology and simply re-sowing grass with upgraded seed. “So we
have got a big problem there, but it’s not just a scientific problem, it’s also
a question of educating farmers to do the right things – once we know what they
should be doing,” he said.

Chief executive Andrew West said technology
was already available to improve productivity or reduce environmental impacts,
but it was not being taken up by farmers. The 3% annual re-sow rate among
Waikato dairy farmers might have left them trailing pasture technology by up to
30 years, he said.

Get inside the heads
The company employed 15
social science researchers “to get inside the heads of farmers” to understand
why they were not seeing value in things like new pasture technology, and to
make technology transfer more efficient and effective.


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