Monday, 21 December 2020 09:30

Fonterra and DairyNZ join forces to tackle nitrogen leaching

Written by  Staff Reporters
Fonterra and DairyNZ have joined together in a study to tackle nitrogen leaching. Fonterra and DairyNZ have joined together in a study to tackle nitrogen leaching.

Fonterra will team up with DairyNZ to expand a trial to help improve waterways and reduce on-farm greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

DairyNZ has been leading the Tararua Plantain Project in the lower North Island, where farmers have been growing plantain for their cows.

Now, Fonterra, along with Nestle, is helping expand the project further through additional funding and by sharing expertise.

“We’re all about finding ways to ensure Aotearoa New Zealand has a thriving environment and a thriving farming economy,” said Fonterra’s director of on-farm excellence Charlotte Rutherford.

She says it was good to be partnering with DairyNZ on the project because companies could achieve more in partnership.

“This is helping to speed up the adoption of plantain by farmers. Ultimately it could be a real game-changer to reduce nitrogen from cows and help mitigate nitrous oxide emissions.”

Fonterra says the new collaboration will help to accelerate uptake of Ecotain – a blend of environmentally functional plantain cultivars developed by seed company Agricom.

Currently, 50 Tararua farms have started to use plantain, through DairyNZ’s Tararua Plantain Project.

With the funding boost, it is expected these farms and more will increase the amount they grow, therefore maximising the benefits.

Ecotain has been used in studies by DairyNZ, Agricom, Lincoln University, Massey University and AgResearch, with results showing it can significantly reduce nitrogen leaching.

Preliminary studies also show it has the potential to lower on-farm GHG emissions through the reduction of nitrous oxide, which is promising news for farmers.

The project also focuses on improving understanding of how farmers can implement Ecotain successfully and engaging farmers through workshops, events and a national farmer network to extend knowledge.

DairyNZ’s general manager for new systems and competitiveness, David McCall, says the dairy sector has a wide range of work underway to reduce nitrates entering waterways and reduce on-farm emissions.

“The seven-year Tararua Plantain Project is a flagship project for the dairy sector. It is delivering real, tangible results valued by farmers. The project has community at its heart as it seeks water quality improvements, while ensuring the dairy sector continues as an economic pillar within the local community.

“It is excellent to have extra support from Fonterra and Nestle within the Tararua catchment.”

More like this

Another productive season

New Zealand Dairy Statistics for the 2019/20 season reveal the season was a productive one for dairy farmers.


Covid minces meat prices

Farmgate red meat prices are taking a hit as Covid continues to disrupt dining out businesses around the world.


Not a very cherry start!

What was expected to be a bumper cherry crop this year has been badly hit by untimely wet weather.

Hort sector denied!

MPI has turned down a request from the horticulture sector to declare the recent hail and rainstorms, that decimated many orchards around the country and cost growers millions
of dollars in lost income, as an ‘adverse event’.

Pledge to end child labour in agriculture

The director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu, has pledged to intensify efforts toward addressing child labour in agriculture through a dedicated work programme.


Expat workers ready for NZ

Dairy industry recruitment company Rural People Limited is seeing a huge increase in overseas interest to fill New Zealand farming…

Machinery & Products

Kubota ROPS tractors here

Kubota New Zealand product specialist Shaun Monteith says Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) tractors make up 30% of all tractors in…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Dung paint

India now has its own cow dung paint, a world-first. 

Fresh for 60 days

A Queensland-based company is set to release its own production of milk this year that stays fresh for at least…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter