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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  • New referendum period begins for FAR

    The new levy orders for the arable industry came into force this week, following sign-off by the Governor General after last year’s successful referendum.

    FAR CEO Alison Stewart says she is looking forward to the next six years of developing FAR’s research and extension focus to ensure all programmes continue to meet the evolving needs of the industry.

    "We will continue to maintain a balanced portfolio of production, environmental and social research, and to monitor national and international trends and developments in order to identify issues which may have an impact on arable farm productivity and profitability. Obvious things to consider at present are biosecurity, greenhouse gas emissions, plant proteins and agrichemical availability and use."

    Last year’s vote covered all three FAR levies. Results were: Arable crops, 90% support; Maize, 78% support and Cereal silage, 66% support.

    FAR Profile Book


  • Federated Farmers' Arable Award Winners

    Former Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) CEO Nick Pyke was presented with the Federated Farmers Arable Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award and North Canterbury farmer Syd Worsfold was named Federated Farmers Arable Farmer of the Year in recognition of his contribution over the last three decades to the arable industry and stakeholder groups, Federated Farmers, FAR and United Wheatgrowers.

    Newly-elected Arable chairperson Karen Williams said Nick Pyke has always been a strong advocate for farmers and growers over biosecurity at three borders: national, regional and the farm gate.

    "He has been involved in the Velvetleaf, pea weevil and Blackgrass responses, sitting on both the Governance Group and in a number of industry stakeholder groups. He’s also been actively involved in developing a strong and viable GIA framework for the cropping industry.

    "Nick has a strong sense of what are the right management decisions to make for the overall industry, but also has a lot of empathy for growers and how decisions will affect them on the ground," Karen said.

    Federated Farmers National Biosecurity spokesperson Guy Wigley said Nick was outstanding in each of the responses the arable industry was involved in over the last three years and the award acknowledged his efforts.

    "Nick was able to provide credible scientific information to aid in the response decision-making and ensure the best outcomes for arable farmers were achieved," Guy said.

    The Arable Farmer of the Year Award is about recognising excellence in the sector, acknowledging someone who balances production and profit drivers against environmental, sustainability and other compliance requirements. Syd Worsfold fits that bill.

    Feds Arable Vice-Chair Brian Leadley said Syd has worked extensively "not only for the betterment of his own arable farming business but also his peers and future generations of arable farmers".

    Syd, who today farms 400 hectares at Greendale in partnership with his son, has been involved with Federated Farmers as North Canterbury Arable Chairperson (1992 to 1994) and then on the Arable Council. He has been involved with United Wheatgrowers for the last 30 years, first as an Electoral College member and then a Director. Syd was also part of the first committee which looked at establishing the Foundation for ArableResearch (FAR), and a member of the Northern South Island Arable Research Group (ARG). He has also been a member of the Arable Industry Marketing Initiative Committee (AIMI) since its inception.

    The Federated Farmers outgoing Arable Chairperson Guy Wigley described Syd as a quiet, unassuming and effective leader.

    "This award is in recognition of his achievements, leadership and contribution to the arable industry, which despite contributing around $750 million to the nation’s GDP, typically flies under the radar in New Zealand".

    Federated Farmers