The P21 team won the Agricultural Science Award for the research, being applied on commercial farms across the country, that has helped increase productivity while lowering the environmental footprint through the reduction of nutrient losses.
The research has led to 30-40 percent reductions in nitrate losses on farm.
Small changes have led to big environmental gains, says DairyNZ principle scientist Dr David Chapman.
“Reducing fertiliser and supplements, plus capturing urinary nitrogen on a stand-off pad, reduced the amount of nitrogen lost – but kept profit per hectare comparable to the benchmark,” he says.
“Reducing the amount of nutrients is crucial in dairy’s continued drive to protect and enhance New Zealand’s environment and waterways.”
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says science such as P21 is improving the way we farm. “Research is crucial if we’re going to continue to find innovative ways to farm that work in harmony with our environment.”
P21 research also discovered that phosphorus and sediment loss from grazed winter crops was reduced by contour grazing.
DairyNZ's principal scientist Dr John Roche was also nominated for the WINTEC Communicator category for his work with undergraduate interns, and postgraduate and postdoctoral scientists who he involves in the research programmes he leads.
“I’m humbled and honoured to have been nominated for this fine award,” he says.
Dr Roche missed out to St Paul’s Collegiate School’s teacher Kerry Allen who won the award for her involvement in the development of NCEA Levels 2 and 3 agri-business achievement standards for New Zealand schools. This is a programme funded by DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb.
“The agri-business programme is an excellent initiative to develop passionate, skilled and motivated young people,” says Dr Mackle. “They will be our future dairy farmers, scientists, rural professionals and perhaps even our dairy leaders one day. I’m excited that this programme will now be rolled out across the country into other schools.”
The Kudos Awards are held annually to celebrate Waikato’s innovators and science minds who continue to achieve world-class science discovery, innovation and research, in particular in agricultural, environmental, and medical science.
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