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 $1Bn, 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 Media & News

  • A biosecurity GIA for the arable industry

    In recent years, the Government has reviewed the New Zealand Biosecurity system and, with industry, developed the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) system, to manage biosecurity readiness and response in New Zealand.

    In order to ensure that the arable industry has a voice under this new system, FAR has been working with industry groups to develop a GIA for the arable industry. After much discussion and consultation, an entity called Seed and Grain Readiness and Response (SGRR) has been formed to fulfil this role.

    The industry proposal is that SGRR will represent FAR, Federated Farmers Arable, the Flour Millers Association, New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association and United Wheat Growers in negotiations with the government around biosecurity. Each of the organisations listed above will have one director on SGRR.

    We hope to conclude negotiations over this process in early December, but understand that you will have a number of questions about the role of SGRR and what it means to be part of the GIA system. Please read the attached information which outlines the process to date, how the proposed SGRR would work, and what it all means. This section includes a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

    SGRR GIA Information

    If, after reading this, you still have questions or concerns, please email:

    Alternatively, you may choose to attend a consultation meeting - times and dates are listed below and are also on the FAR events page.

  • Stink bug biocontrol approved

    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has formally agreed to allow the release of a tiny Samurai wasp into New Zealand, in the event of a brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) incursion.

    BMSB Council Chair Alan Pollard applauded the outcome as a major milestone against one of the greatest threats to New Zealand industry and urban communities.

    “The industry greatly appreciates the positive decision and acknowledges the consideration given by the EPA to the significant number of submissions made on the application. This is a significant step towards preparing for a major biosecurity risk, which is getting greater by the day, with increasing trade and tourism crossing our borders,” he said.

    The Samurai wasp is the size of a poppy seed and completely harmless to humans and animals, but a natural enemy of BMSB; the female wasp lays her eggs inside those of the stink bug, killing the larvae in the process. Studies overseas have shown that the wasp can destroy over 70 percent of the eggs in a stink bug egg mass.

    “The stink bug could cause hundreds of millions of dollars of losses for our industry, as well as seriously damaging quality of life for all New Zealanders.

    “With the heightened awareness of biosecurity risk across New Zealand, our industry is more aware than ever that we cannot afford to be, and never will be, complacent.

    “Approving the release of Samurai as a biocontrol is an excellent step but there is more work to do before the wasp is ready to be used as a tool. It’s not the silver bullet and a stink bug incursion would require a multi-faceted approach.

    “We’ve seen overseas growers rely on high levels of insecticide as the primary control for BMSB and, while this wasp provides the opportunity to reduce our dependence on chemicals, a full response will require every weapon in our armoury.”

    Permission to release the wasp will be subject to a number of strict controls that will dictate when, where, and by whom it can be released.

    BMSB feeds on a huge range of arable and horticultural crops including wheat, maize, peas and beans. A NZIER report, commissioned by the Samurai Wasp Steering Group, has estimated that gross domestic product would fall by between $1.8 billion and $3.6b by 2038 if BMSB became established. It also estimated the horticulture export value could fall by between $2b and $4.2b.

    About the BMSB Council
    The BMSB Council is a partnership under GIA between industry and government and is responsible for BMSB readiness and response. The Council consists of member organisations (Horticulture New Zealand, Kiwifruit Vine Health, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Avocado, New Zealand Apples & Pears, New Zealand Winegrowers, Summerfruit New Zealand, Tomatoes New Zealand, Vegetables New Zealand) and observers (Foundation for Arable Research and New Zealand Plant Producers Inc).