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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  • FAR Conference looks at big arable issues

    Full programme and times

    Arable farmers excel at what they do, but like farmers in all of New Zealand’s agrifood industries, they’re finding it more and more difficult to meet ever-increasing, and occasionally contradictory, regulatory, public and consumer demands around food production.

    Safe food, wholesome food, ethically produced food, food produced in environmentally friendly systems and of course, affordable food. Can it be done? How?

    What are the big issues for New Zealand’s cropping farmers today? What will they be in 10 years’ time? What’s being done to address them?

    These are some of the questions that will be addressed at the 2019 FAR Conference, Research Leading Change.

    The three sessions will cover Soil Water and Nutrients, Crop Protection and Innovation and Technology. Each session will reference some of the big issues facing arable farmers and their farms; issues such as nutrient management, climate change and agrichemical resistance. Each session will also outline some of the work that FAR and other organisations are undertaking in order to understand what is causing problems and how to find solutions.

    Arable farmers know how to make the most of their businesses under the current climate and compliance conditions, but the goal posts will keep on shifting. Our job is to support growers now, while working to find solutions to emerging problems and issues.

  • ​Carbon on the agenda for FAR 2019 Conference

    The recent introduction of the Zero Carbon Bill into Parliament has been a major talking point in agricultural circles. But just what does it mean for the cropping industry, and what, if anything, can farmers do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from arable farms?

    Expect to hear more at FAR’s 2019 Conference, Research Leading Change, which is being held at Lincoln University at the end of June.

    Organiser Anna Heslop, from FAR, says climate change and zero carbon will feature on the first day of the conference in the Soil, Water and Nutrients session.

    “Our Keynote address in that session will be delivered by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, the Honourable Simon Upton. We expect him to touch on a range of environmental issues, including nutrient management, water quality and, of course, climate change and the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

    “The Soil, Water and Nutrients session will also include talks on nitrogen leaching, emissions from arable systems, the state of arable soils and new research aimed at maximising the value of irrigation.”

    The conference also features sessions on Crop Protection and Innovation and Technology, as well as an afternoon of field trips which will investigate issues around lime spreading, weed management in vegetable seed crops and biological farming.

    Anyone wanting to attend the conference at the early bird rate of $195 has until Monday 20 May. After that, the price goes up to $280 per person for the two day event.

    Registrations online here: