Boosting the NZ seed sector yields and competitiveness

AgResearch work is ensuring the future prosperity of the New Zealand grass seed industry by helping boost crop yields and cost-competitiveness. New Zealand’s export revenue is largely underpinned by forage production from major grass and legume species such as ryegrass, clover, cocksfoot and fescue. Maintenance and improvement of the pastures on which producers depend is […]

New tests unlocks soil fertility information

An innovative soil test developed by AgResearch is offering the pastoral and arable sector the information it needs for better land and fertiliser use. The hot water extractable carbon (HWC) test offers straightforward, robust and accurate results on soil fertility status, especially the mineralisable nutrients bound to soil organic matter. The HWC test was developed […]

Ingenious Kiwi grass prepares to go global

An ingenious Kiwi solution to the billion dollar bird strike problem is getting ready to go global after impressing airport experts from around the world. Bird strikes at airports cost the aviation industry an estimated US$1.5 billion annually in both damage to airplanes and deterrence measures. A team of AgResearch scientists led by Chris Pennell […]

Farmers unlock the power of endophytes

The perennial ryegrass on which much of New Zealand’s pastoral agriculture depends uses a fungus that grows within the plant, known as an “endophyte”, to protect itself from insect pests. However it can also have implications for animal health. AgResearch scientists discovered a novel endophyte (AR37) which provides ryegrass with the insect protection advantages and […]

Iron-grabber important for endophyte survival

Scientists at New Zealand’s largest Crown Research Institute, AgResearch, have made a crucial discovery on what makes endophytes succeed in ryegrass. In a paper recently published in the prestigious journal PLOS Pathogens, lead author Dr Linda Johnson describes the tactic used by an endophyte to extract a vital nutrient, iron, from its ryegrass host. ​Paddocks […]

Ingenious Kiwi grass prepares to go global

An ingenious Kiwi solution to the billion dollar bird strike problem is getting ready to go global after impressing airport experts from around the world. AgResearch scientists have developed a tool to help airport managers control the problem, a grass containing a special novel endophyte that naturally deters wildlife and insects. ​Bird strikes at airports […]

Earthworms in New Zealand pastures

Earthworms burrow through the soil and feed on organic matter, consequently improving the movement of air, water and nutrients through the soil. Considering that the live weight of earthworms living in the soil is similar to the live weight of stock above ground, their contribution to these ecosystem services (movement of air, water and nutrients) […]

Bird-deterrent ryegrass

A ryegrass seed developed using endophytes acts as a bird deterrent, and has possible applications for airports, golf courses, kiwifruit orchards and vineyards. The AvanexTM endophyte grass uses bioactives from an endophyte of a naturally occuring fungus, Neotyphodium, to act as a feeding deterrent. The grass triggers post-digestion feedback, where mild illness in birds alters […]