FAR Research and Extension Strategy and Portfolio
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This FAR research and extension strategy and portfolio:
- defines the priorities for information transfer and education to New Zealand cropping farmers.
- clearly defines for researchers the areas where FAR will consider investing in research.
- identifies to science funding bodies the areas where FAR is prepared to commit funds and defines the importance of those areas.
- identifies to other industry, research funding groups and companies the areas where there are common research themes or priorities.
- identifies to overseas researchers and science funding groups areas where there are opportunities to enter into cooperative research projects.
- To improve the knowledge base of New Zealand cropping farmers.
- To co-operatively invest in, manage and deliver outcomes from a pro-active, cost effective portfolio of research and development that will meet the needs of the arable industry and related industries to deliver benefits to New Zealand cropping farmers.
- To facilitate the flow of ideas and outcomes from New Zealand grant funded and international research either to New Zealand cropping farmers and the industry or to applied research programmes.
- To undertake and/or promote two-way information and technology transfer between industry, growers and researchers with due regard for the market and market trends.
FAR research and development Policy
Levy funds will be invested in applied research, transfer of information and technology, education and other industry good activities. The emphasis will be on developing a balanced investment portfolio that is designed to deliver outcomes to New Zealand cropping farmers to address the issues in both a short (3 years) and long (3–15 years) time frame. Product development work and plant breeding is the responsibility of individual companies but FAR does have a role in the evaluation of cultivars, products for a new use and research to compare products. FAR occupies a vital bridging position as an investor in applied research and in the delivery of information and technologies developed from both government and industry investment in research. The FAR research and extension strategy and portfolio will be developed with due regard for sustainable farming practices so a balanced portfolio of production, environmental and social research will be maintained at all times. The outcomes of the investment will deliver benefits which can be measured in the increased productivity, increased profitability and the retention or opportunity for the farm to use certain practices. FAR encourages the co-operative funding of research and information transfer with other industry groups or companies both nationally and internationally.
This strategy has four distinct research goals:
1. New innovative products
Adding value through innovation with seed
- Endophyte – deterrent endophytes for turf uses, endophytes in cereals to manage pests and diseases and the potential for endophytes in other crops.
- Vegetable seed – specialist seed production techniques and systems to produce high quality seed of species suited to New Zealand environment.
- Cereal seed – producing cereal seed for export.
- Advanced seed production – advanced seed production practices for non-determinate and grass species, plant physiology.
Food/Smart products for the future
- Protein sources – using plants for protein.
- Health foods – innovative foods, gluten free, healthy plant based products.
- Grain products for a changing world – ethnic foods, protein snack foods.
Bio-pesticides from biomass – Use of straw and forage from herbage seed production to produce biologically active compunds.
2. Feeding environmentally friendly dairy and intensive livestock industries
- Supplements – using grain, maize, cereal silage and fodder crops to reduce methane and nitrate emissions in animal production.
- Additives – using grain, maize, cereal silage and fodder crops to balance the diet in cows and sheep to optimise animal performance, animal fertility etc, new protein grains (beans).
- Replacements – total diets for pigs, poultry, sheep and beef to optimise animal performance through use of cultivars, species and production systems.
New markets – quality feeds for the farmed fish industry.
3. Building better and more robust farms
Innovative farming practices
- Remote sensing – use of crop and soil sensors to manage nutrients, water, soil quality, etc.
- Intercropping/multiple crops – management of co‑crops and crop rotations to deliver benefits such as improved nutrient use, weed control and soil quality.
- Precision agriculture – improving the efficient application of inputs, variable rate water/nutrients, reducing labour and energy, managing variability.
- Bioenergy – production and use, the use of by‑products straw etc to produce bioenergy.
Sustainable farming systems
- Water – understanding crop needs, delivering crop needs, whole farm water management, reducing nutrient losses, efficient water use.
- Innovative crop establishment – use of non‑inversion tillage practices to reduce passes, reduce costs, manage crop residues and improve soil quality.
- Maintaining and building soil carbon – use of residues, role of different carbon fractions, impact of cropping on soil carbon.
- Optimising nutrient use – self management plans for efficient nutrient use, crop models, soil movement.
- Reducing on farm energy use – improved efficiency of farming systems, reduced passes, new methods, cultivars etc.
- Protecting and building farm biodiversity – beneficial species (including pollinators), modification of on farm biodiversity, manipulating species to minimise pests (birds, insects etc).
- The role of animals – optimising returns through grazing crops (cereals, brassicas, grass), using animals to supply nutrients (effluent, strip grazing etc), weed, disease and pest management.
- Species and cultivars – producing high yielding, high quality, fit for purpose grains, fodder and seeds to meet markets and match the environment current and future.
- Managing pests, weeds, disease, birds – integrated pest management, crop rotations, forecasting, agrichemical and crop residue management, biosecurity (internal and external).
- Crop input demands – defining crop water and nutrients requirements, fertiliser, PGR, newproducts etc.
Marketable products – efficient pollination, harvest techniques, harvest losses, storage practices.
4. Delivering benefits and outcomes
Business – building a resilient business and training
- Marketing your products/business – training, promotion, market opportunities, market trends.
- Planning for the future – strategic, business and succession planning.
- The dollar dimension – COP, benchmarking, financial management, machinery operation/replacement.
- Managing your people and time – staff management etc.
Telling and selling the story
- Information to and from farmers and industry – building benefits, extension, communication,liaison with farmers, effective use of farmer groups,participatory learning using verbal, written, visualand electronic tools.
- Influencing the influencers – extension to and working with regional councils, government, other primary sectors.
- Bridging the rural/urban divide – educating, informing the public.
- Advocacy of science – outlining need, benefits and science outcomes.
- \Communicating the science – delivering to the international and national science community.