AgResearch partners with the pastoral sector to identify and deliver the innovation that is needed to create value for New Zealand. It is a vibrant organisation with staff spread across four campuses and farms in the Waikato, Manawatu, Canterbury and Otago.
Agriculture is New Zealand’s largest export income earner, and AgResearch plays a key role in delivering new knowledge and technologies which underpin the pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology value chains. We do this by working closely with sector partners and our strategy is outlined in our Statement of Corporate Intent.
We are the lead CRI in the following areas:
- Pasture-based animal production systems
- New pasture plant varieties
- Agriculture-derived greenhouse gas mitigation and pastoral climate change adaption
- Agri-food and bio-based products and agri-technologies
- Integrated social and biophysical research to support pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology sector development.
We work with other research providers and end-users to contribute to the development of the following areas:
- Biosecurity, land, soil and freshwater management
- Climate change adaption and mitigation
- Food and beverage sector (including foods for human nutrition and health, food technologies and food safety).
A snapshot of our capabilities
Our understanding of plant and endophyte technologies, such as metabolomics and epigenetics, leads the supply chain and supports the development of a new generation of livestock and plant-derived products. Our subsidiary Grasslanz Technology takes these technologies to an international market.
Land use and land management are studied in relation to environmental impacts and climate change. Improving dairy, beef, lamb and deer production systems is addressed by innovative research on soil and water management, pasture fertilisation and farm nutrient management, while reducing negative impacts on the quality of soil, water and atmosphere and ecosystems.
We are finding ways to improve the nutrition, health and welfare of livestock for efficient and sustainable animal production. AgResearch scientists have recognised expertise in the parasitic and infectious diseases of pastoral livestock and understanding of rumen and animal processes behind healthy productive and efficient ruminant livestock. We use a broad range of physiology and genomics-based research tools that will detect and utilise the natural gene variants that control economically important traits such as growth rate, fecundity, meat quality and disease resistance and we are developing advanced technology options for animal reproduction and enhancement of animal performance.
Systems thinking is an integral part of our research and development approach. Our agricultural systems research focuses on creating more profitable and sustainable farms and agribusinesses and provides the capacity to understand complex, interconnected agricultural issues.
We are committed to delivering solutions focused on the distinctive needs of Māori in the pastoral sector to assist in increasing the performance of Māori-owned farms.
Our food research and development creates the knowledge and tools to develop high value foods and ingredients from pastoral-based industries, tailored to market and consumer preferences for quality, human health and well-being.
Our biocontrol and biosecurity work is on the sustainable management of pests and weeds for the benefit of New Zealand’s pastoral sector and associated environments. Research includes the development of new biopesticides and technologies, and we play a role in making sure our national borders are well protected. We also conduct research around the environmental safety of these control options and the impact of novel biotechnologies such as modified crops.
Our textiles and biomaterials research includes recognising demand, formulating innovative products and seeing them through the development process to an international market. With strengths in development and engineering, we supply materials for an unlimited number of applications, from human biomedics to industry and the worldwide fashion scene.