ODT:Farming confronting technical conundrums

Neal Wallace of the Otago Daily Times writes about warnings that NZ’s pasture-based farming system might have to change.

Stephen Goldson, AgResearch’s chief scientist and the vice-president of the Royal Society of New Zealand has said that pastoral farming may have reached its upper limits, in terms of production, and that new strategies such as the development and use of high-energy (or drought-resistant) forage should be considered.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Dr Goldson said New Zealand had to act to address issues of competitiveness, but also to improve nutrition levels in livestock, especially dairy cows, to ensure we retained our position as leaders in pastoral farming.

“That could include using genetic modification (GM) technology, which he said was becoming more acceptable.

“In 2009 134 million ha of GM plants were grown, mostly in the United States, Argentina and Brazil, and he said there were still no consistent reports of untoward effects associated with the technology.”