Study of mutant sheep provides exciting new opportunities

Research into “mutant” sheep has AgResearch scientists eyeing up a greater understanding of what makes human hair curly or straight, and the potential for innovative new wool products. Commonly known as Felting Lustre mutants, these sheep are rare and share the trait of naturally occurring straight wool, instead of the usual crimped wool.  “With these […]

New international science links to benefit New Zealand

New relationships forged between AgResearch and key overseas science organisations will provide a host of valuable opportunities for New Zealand, says Chief Executive Tom Richardson. “The first is a new strategic partnership involving organisations from three other countries, where we can share our scientific gains and better grasp the opportunities that come along,” Dr Richardson […]

Novel new research into animal parasites

A new AgResearch science project, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, will investigate the potential of tricking animal parasite larvae to shed their protective shell (a process called ‘exsheathing’) on pasture so they die rather than being ingested by animals. This work is possible with the announcement of two year, […]

Shortlist of five holds key to reduced methane emissions from livestock

AgResearch scientists have identified five different animal-safe compounds that can reduce methane emissions from sheep and cattle by 30 to 90%. Results from animal trials were presented at the 2015 New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Conference held in Palmerston North on 28 April. Principal scientist Dr Peter Janssen, who co-ordinates the methane research programme, […]

Dairy sheep – a new frontier?

A strong turnout at the recent sheep dairying conference in Palmerston North has boosted interest in this emerging industry. The FoodHQ Ewe Milk Products and Sheep Dairying conference attracted 160 delegates and included farmers, consultants, agricultural industry representatives, scientists and staff from the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. AgResearch […]

Pastoral 21 venture to boost productivity and reduce environmental impacts

Pastoral 21 is a collaborative venture involving DairyNZ, Fonterra, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  Designed to boost farm productivity and reduce environmental impacts, the programme, which began in 2007, is now well into its second phase, and has seen teams […]

Low Cost Easy Care sheep released from research flocks

The final act of two AgResearch sheep breeding projects selecting low-maintenance sheep took place at the Tinwald General Saleyards on Wednesday 12 March 2014. ​The research projects led by AgResearch scientist Dr David Scobie into easy-care and shedding sheep had finished.  As the two flocks, totaling approximately 300 sheep, were surplus to requirements on the […]

GenomNZ™ genetic testing laboratory yields more valuable information

At Genomnz, AgResearch’s commercial genotyping laboratory, more things become possible with a piece of DNA. And with the technology developing rapidly, more economically valuable information is being gathered from DNA than ever before. Genomnz Manager, Ed Styles says an area where the benefits of DNA testing are being seen is in the productivity of sheep, […]

CARLA could soon help combat goat parasites

A saliva test successfully used for selecting sheep with enhanced protective immunity to internal parasites may soon be also helping to increase the productivity and profitability of goat farming. AgResearch Senior scientist Richard Shaw, who’s based at the Hopkirk Research Institute in Palmerston North, has developed a test – based on the CARLA test – […]