AgResearch is a New Zealand Crown Research Institute and its purpose is to enhance the value, productivity and profitability of New Zealand’s agri-food and fibre sectors, considering future global market needs and contributing to economic growth and beneficial environmental and social outcomes. AgResearch plays a key role in delivering new knowledge and technologies to support New Zealand’s agricultural sector. Our two focus areas of research are in creating smart, sustainable farming systems, and the most sought-after food and bio-products. These are intrinsically linked – without the right systems we cannot help create quality agri-based products, and we know that the consumer also wants to be sure that their choice of product comes without an environmental cost.
Our contribution will focus primarily on WP3.
We will include the Southern Demonstration and Research Farm of the Southern Dairy Hub in the demonstration farm network. This farm is both a research and a demonstration dairy farm and currently runs four farmlet systems, so it enables comparison of different systems. This farmlet systems research is led by Dr Dawn Dalley (DairyNZ) and funded by DairyNZ through New Zealand dairy farmer levy funding. An important feature of the farmlets is that they are large enough (c. 180 cows each) to simulate what could happen at a full farm scale. The farm will start a new systems’ comparison from August 2022 onwards and is will include solutions and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We will calculate the GHG emissions from the different farmlets, and conduct scenario modelling to augment the farmlet systems with additional measures to further reduce GHG emissions towards climate neutrality.