Dr Tom Richardson, Chief Executive
Partnership is the key
This issue of AgResearch NOW focuses on a vital input to all of our pastoral industries – pasture. How can we grow more and better pasture? How can we eliminate weeds that occupy land in place of pasture, and that discourages animals from eating some of the pasture that remains?
In addressing these questions, the articles
in this issue show the importance of partnerships on the farm and beyond - that are vital to the success of New Zealand’s world-class pastoral sector.
Some of these partnerships are between people - but others are between plants, and between plants and animals. For
example, grasses co-exist with clovers to produce a sward that partly fertilises
itself. Grazing animals consume plant material and spread nutrients around the farm which keeps both the pasture and animal growing.
Farmers must carefully balance animals and plants to manage weeds and pests,
they need to balance feed supply, animal demand, and the demands of consumers for the farm’s products, all to run a productive and profitable enterprise.
More partnerships extend through the value chain from farm inputs through to food and textile processing, exporters and retailers.
Another partnership has been essential to the success of New Zealand agriculture for more than a hundred years and will continue to be essential in the
future – the partnership between the pastoral sector, scientific research
and agricultural technology.
As the leader of New Zealand’s largest group of agriculture, food and textile
researchers, of course I would say that! But as I have met with the leaders of New Zealand’s most important pastoral sector organisations over the last several months, I have been very pleased to hear that message from them too.
Delivering AgResearch’s Core Purpose: “To enhance the value, productivity and
profitability of New Zealand’s pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology sector value chains” can only be achieved in partnership with key stakeholders, including industry, government and Maori.
Many of these partnerships are delivering real benefits to farmers in weed, pest
and pasture management, and we are delighted to present some real-world
examples in the following articles.