The following information comes from a media release published on 2 November 2016.
Grasses of the future being developed by AgResearch scientists are expected to result in healthier animals, better production on the farm and less impact on the environment.
A recent grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund, along with funding from AgResearch and other stakeholders, means an investment of $25 million over five years into the genetically modified forages research.
“What we are doing is enhancing the ryegrass so that there is more energy and nutrition stored in the grass,” says AgResearch Forage Science Group Leader Dr Tony Connor.
“This means the animals feeding on it are healthier, and therefore they become better producers for the farm. The result will be a major boost for the agricultural economy.”
“What we are also finding is that a by-product of these changes to the grass will be important gains as far as the impacts on the environment. This includes less methane gas produced by the animals, and the change in nitrogen requirements with these grasses could reduce nitrate runoff.”