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Expert Reactions

How can we reduce antibiotic use in animals? – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 29th, 2017.

With the global threat of anti-microbial resistant looming, a team of international agricultural experts are arguing for reduced antibiotic use in animals, as it can lead to drug-resistant infections in both animals and humans.  In a policy forum published today in Science, the researchers propose three actions to curb antibiotic use in animals. First, they […]

Scientific research the key to balancing productivity and environmental values — Tom Richardson

Tessa Evans posted in on April 24th, 2017.

We can have a profitable agricultural sector and protect the environment, writes AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson, we just need to use science.  An excerpt (read in full): As the head of a science organisation which is focused on solving that conundrum I see our role in this being clear, and critically important. Science needs to lead the […]

The science of the freshwater estate – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on April 12th, 2017.

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman has released a report hoped to help understand the complexity of issues surrounding the condition and stewardship of freshwater. Sir Peter said his office had been working on the report for nearly a year, but following the Government’s ‘Clean Water’ consultation package, which includes new approaches […]

New measures for managing freshwater – In the News

John Kerr posted in on February 22nd, 2016.

Stronger rules on farm pollution and a $100 million for cleaning up lakes and rivers are among new initiatives put forward by the Government to improve freshwater management. The measures were announced at the Bluegreens Forum in Tekapo, with a consultation document titled ‘Next steps for fresh water’ released by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith […]

‘Abandoning’ our farms to the market – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on September 11th, 2015.

Paying farmers to reduce their impact on the environment is working overseas, but ‘cash for conservation’ schemes are too often undercut by massive government subsidies to boost agricultural production, argue authors of new research. In an article published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers from Cambridge University and Landcare Research examine the balance between incentive schemes […]

Fast-growing pasture: feed or weed? Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on November 4th, 2014.

Farmers who use plant varieties that become invasive weeds should pay a levy to cover any environmental management costs, say the authors of a new study. As breeding technologies produce faster-growing, more hardy pasture plants, the potential impact of wild-growing pasture in the wider environment grows, warn the authors of a new article published in […]

Sheepdogs round up the rules for crowd control

Laura Goodall posted in on August 28th, 2014.

Scientists have found two simple rules behind how sheepdogs manage to round up and move sheep so efficiently, which they hope can be used in designing robots for crowd control or environmental cleanup. The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface this week, involved strapping backpacks with GPS units to sheepdogs and sheep and […]

Kiwis help tackle Aussie pests

Laura Goodall posted in on August 20th, 2014.

New Zealand-designed software created to predict and tackle mouse outbreaks is being trialled in Australia. is a new, interactive website based on Google-type mapping technology that lets crop farmers record and view mouse activity in their area in real time. It helps inform the community about changes in mouse numbers or damage to crops and when to implement control […]

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Water quality report in the news

John Kerr posted in on November 21st, 2013.

A report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has highlighted the negative impact farming practices are having on New Zealand’s waterways, attracting national news coverage. You can read more about the Commissioners report, Water quality in New Zealand:Land use and nutrient pollution along with independent expert commentary here. The report has been widely covered […]

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Freshwater scientists call for clean waterways

John Kerr posted in on December 7th, 2012.

Freshwater scientists are speaking out about the state of New Zealand rivers and lakes and the impact of land intensification.  Researchers met in Dunedin this week at the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society conference titled Beyond the Limits. Deteriorating water quality and arguments over access to water resources have been in the headlines a lot […]

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