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The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) is an applied research and information transfer organisation responsible primarily to New Zealand arable growers.

There are over 2,700 farmers in New Zealand involved in arable cropping activities, with combined farm gate sales of approximately NZ $1billion, including cereal grains, pulses, maize grain and specialised seed crops for export and domestic markets. Annual crops are grown from the northernmost parts of New Zealand down to Southland, with maize being the dominant crop in the North Island whereas cereal grains (wheat, barley) and seed production (grass seeds, legume seeds and vegetable seeds) is carried out mainly in Canterbury and Southland.

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Latest News & Media

  • ​Fall armyworm update

    Fall army worm continues to present an incursion threat to New Zealand.

    The Australian government has determined that it will not be possible to eradicate Fall armyworm (FAW) and is moving to prepare affected industries for ongoing, long-term management of this extremely damaging new pest.

    FAW was first detected in the Torres Strait islands in late January this year and then in Queensland's Cape York area and the north west Gulf region in February. At present, the most southern detections are in Bundaberg (Queensland) and Broome (Western Australia) and the pest is expected to continue to move southwards over the coming months.

    FAW would be equally devastating in New Zealand, so all growers are reminded to keep an eye out for anything unusual in the way of insect pests or plant damage.

    The following websites offer information about Fall army worm.

  • 2019/20 Spring Cereal Cultivar Book

    With two new spring wheat cultivars, a gristing and a medium grade milling wheat, as well as three new feed barley cultivars, the 2019-2020 CPT spring trials plan was very positive.

    Fortunately, good solar radiation over the grain fill period boosted yields of irrigated crops and many growers commented on record yield and quality, coupled with good harvest conditions. Ultimately, CPT spring wheat and feed barley yields were higher than last year at most CPT sites. The season got off to a good start, with many areas experiencing mild weather and below average rainfall in spring. Unfortunately, by the start of summer, conditions became more difficult in some regions, with soil moisture falling below average in much of the upper and eastern North Island, along with parts of Tasman, Marlborough and Canterbury. Ongoing drought conditions in many of these regions, as well as a severe drought across Northland and Waikato over summer, affected the yield of dryland crops. In contrast, the lower west coast of the North Island and parts of Otago and Southland experienced frequent rain, resulting in above average soil moisture and water-logging, which hampered management in some crops. Otago and Southland also experienced above average rainfall during both December and February, with many crops affected by flooding at harvest.

    The COVID-19 lockdown meant two Southland barley trials could not be harvested, and the results from the spring wheat trial in the Manawatu were withdrawn because of high variability caused by the dry conditions. As a result, some of the new cultivars have no data for these sites.

    Click here to read the Spring Cultivar Book 2019/20.