Feeding the world’s growing population
New Zealand’s reputation as a quality food producer is growing.
The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand promotes and encourages responsible and scientifically-based nutrient management.
A new report shows many farmers want to take action to reduce emissions but need more information about what steps they can take.
It also shows if all farmers operated using today's best practice, we may be able to reduce emissions by up to 10%, but with mixed impacts on profitability. Continued funding for research into new, novel technologies or changes to farm systems will be important for reducing emissions further.
The Biological Emissions Reference Group (BERG) report is the culmination of two years of research into the opportunities, costs and barriers to reducing biological emissions in New Zealand's primary industries.
BERG is a joint agriculture industry-government working group of nine key organisations: The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand, Beef + Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, Deer Industry NZ, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, HortNZ, Ministry for Primary Industries and Ministry for the Environment.
"It's been a useful model for the agricultural sector and government working together to build robust and agreed evidence on what the sector can do on-farm to reduce emissions," says Vera Power, Chief Executive of the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand.
The reference group commissioned nine new research projects. The work has already been used to provide advice to the government on options for the 2050 emissions target and will feed into future planning and policy. It has also been used by the Productivity Commission, the Interim Climate Change Committee and industry.
"Farms have already achieved enormous efficiency gains, but the most important thing is to ensure we have the right framework in place to continue on the trajectory to reducing emissions," says Vera. "There's no silver bullet for achieving the targets so a suite of options will be required. It will be essential that farmers are able to retain clear control and flexibility over how they manage their farms into the future and that they have access to the very best advice."
The BERG plans to host an event in early 2019 to discuss the analysis and findings in more depth.
The Synthesis Report of the Biological Emissions Reference Group and the full reports from the research commissioned can be downloaded from the MPI website.