Rod Oram in the Sunday Star Times

Rod Oram’s column Exporters show up bleaters appeared in the Sunday Star Times, July 6.

Some relevant excerpts related to the use of science and technology to improve productivity and sustainability in the meat and dairy industries.

“According to OECD forecasts, our [lamb] output is 4.6% of current world production and will fall to 3.7% by 2015.

“But the industry will have a prosperous future if Wrightson/ SFF can make New Zealand farms the global centre of excellence for pastoral lamb farming and the supplier of the very premium end of the market while deploying NZ genetics, skills and capital overseas to meet rising demand.

Environmental standards are limited and and water use:

“So, the likes of AgResearch’s science strategy and the government’s $700m investment in the primary sector’s R&D Fast Forward Fund are strongly focused on increasing the value more than the volume of food production.

“Of course, one of the most promising ways to increase consumer value and animal productivity is to solve the challenge of methane emissions from ruminant animals.

“It is believed that if ruminant animals digest their feed better, they will turn more of their feed into energy (and thus, more milk and meat) and less methane.”