Robyn Dynes on the HWEN partnership’s recommendations

The He Waka Eke Noa partnership this week released its recommendations to Government on pricing of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. You can read about it here.   AgResearch’s Robyn Dynes provided commentary on the recommended approach from her perspective as a senior scientist who works closely with the primary industries.  She writes:   

As a food-exporting nation, it is critical for the New Zealand primary sector to be taking concrete steps to reduce its agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. This proposed levy and approach recommended by He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) provides a means to reduce emissions and support sustainable food production.

This recommended pricing approach is part of a larger ongoing effort and investment over the last two decades by farmers, iwi, government and scientists to find solutions to help meet New Zealand’s targets for reducing agriculture’s contribution to climate change. Continue reading

Public-private partnership with AgResearch to trial “regenerative” beef farming

In a partnership that links scientific research with burger fans, McDonald’s and science provider AgResearch have announced they joined forces on a “regenerative” farming trial.

The two organisations say they have a shared interest in positively influencing the sustainability of pasture-based beef production and are working together on a two-year project that aims to improve soil health and environmental performance.

The pilot study, soon to be under way in Hawkes Bay, focuses on alternative stock= grazing management to boost the cycling of nutrients through the soil. Compared with conventional grazing management practices, the cattle will be offered longer pasture and grazed at higher stocking intensity for a shorter time, leaving greater `residual’ pasture after grazing.

The high-intensity stocking is intended to trample more pasture, and together with the greater residuals remaining after grazing, allow an increased proportion of nutrients to be returned directly to the soil in a more evenly distributed way. Continue reading