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Home > Our Science > Agricultural systems > Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability

The environmental impact of pastoral farms

A view of a hill-country sheep farm

The aim of this research is to develop tools to measure the environmental impact of pastoral farms. These tools will be used to aid on-farm decision making to reduce the environmental foot print of pastoral farming.

Key goals:

  • a strategic level E. coli risk index
  • a tactical and operational level nitrogen and phosphorus risk tool
  • a tile drain system to detect FDE in mole/pipe drainage systems.

The social research being undertaken in this objective has explored farmers’ adoption of nutrient modelling, nitrification inhibitors and wintering feed pads. Currently the research is exploring farmers’ key decision making points when considering grazing management (including when to bring the cows off the paddock and onto a stand-off pad/animal shelter, i.e. pugging), nitrogen fertiliser application and effluent application. Part of this is also trying to determine who makes which decisions and the timeframe for those decisions.

 

 Key information

 

Research goals include:

  • a strategic level E. coli risk index
  • a tactical and operational level nitrogen and phosphorus risk tool
  • a tile drain system to detect FDE in mole/pipe drainage systems.
 

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