Fencing of waterways an effective tool to combat pollution

Fencing of waterways has proven very effective where it has been used to combat the risks of contamination from agriculture, AgResearch says. AgResearch’s Professor Rich McDowell, the chief scientist for the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, was speaking after the publication of a study looking at policies for fencing waterways on contamination loads […]

Reducing nitrogen losses from Lake Rotorua dairy farms

Farm productivity and profitability and a healthy environment are not mutually exclusive. Tanira Kingi from AgResearch’s Land and Environment Group, along with Stewart Ledgard and the Nutrient Management and Environmental Footprinting team, has been working with dairy farmers in the Lake Rotorua catchment area for the past three years, measuring and modelling different nitrogen applications […]

A farmer-led approach to developing on-farm nutrient management solutions to protect Lake Rerewhakaaitu

A farmer-led MPI Sustainable Farming Fund project is underway in the Lake Rerewhakaaitu catchment (south of Lake Rotorua) to develop a voluntary approach to reduce farm nutrient losses and improve lake water quality. Reducing nutrient losses from pastoral farms is critical for improving water quality. Mitigating nutrient losses on all catchment farms needs to occur […]

Water quality

AgResearch teams are involved in a number of research programmes that are seeking to reduce the leakage of contaminants from farms to waterways. Particular focus is placed on minimising transfers of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and faecal micro-organisms from soil to water. This form of “non-point source pollution” is recognised as an important causal factor contributing to […]

Water quality and public health

Swimming, fishing, boating and generally playing around in water is an important part of New Zealand culture. Yet these activities, along with drinking water supplies and shellfish gathering, could be risky if the water contains the pathogenic organisms that can make us sick. Some of those microorganisms (called zoonoses) are spread into the environment from […]

Life cycle analyses

Dr Stewart Ledgard leads a team of researchers active in the new area of application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to agricultural systems and products. The research focuses on determining the total resource use (energy, water, nutrients) and environmental emissions (affecting air and water quality) throughout the life cycle of a system or product. In […]

Reducing nutrient losses to fresh water

There are a wide range of mitigation practices currently available that can reduce the impact of intensive farming on water quality. However, each mitigation measure differs in its effectiveness, cost and likely impact on those waters. This depends on factors that include soil type, climate, topography and the regional sensitivity of water bodies. Consequently, it can be […]

New farm management tool for environmental protection

Collaboration is all important when it comes to protecting New Zealand’s rivers and streams. Professor Richard McDowell leads AgResearch’s contribution to a multi-agency programme to give farmers better tools to understand and manage the environmental impacts of their farms more effectively. The Clean Water, Productive Land programme includes scientists from the National Institute of Water […]