Climate Change

Kiwi dairy farmers are world leaders in the production of sustainable, low carbon milk. DairyNZ has a committed science and research team, who are leading the way in developing on-farm solutions and technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their warming impact.

DairyNZ has three key areas of work to support farmers with the challenges of climate change: 

  • Advocating for fair outcomes in agricultural emissions policy and pricing. 
  • Researching on-farm solutions for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more resilient farm systems in an increasingly variable climate.  
  • Extension and engagement with farmers on managing financial performance and reducing environment footprint.

Agricultural emissions pricing

In 2018, the New Zealand Government legislated agricultural emissions to be priced by 2025 through the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). To protect farmers from unfair costs, DairyNZ became part of the primary sector climate action partnership - He Waka Eke Noa in 2019.  

DairyNZ continues to work in the climate change advocacy space by advocating for fair targets for farmers. We believe that targets must reflect the latest science, and consider what other countries are doing, the mitigation technologies and tools available, and the economic and social impacts.  

Researching on-farm solutions 

To maintain our global position, and meet changing regulations, DairyNZ scientists are researching options to help farmers continue reducing methane emissions.  Researchers are studying feeding methane reducing compounds to cows and calves. Alongside this work, DairyNZ is trialling new ways of delivering these compounds. We are supporting regional research into farm system changes and using different forages to study how these affect emissions.  DairyNZ has also been working with research partners to study a methane reducing vaccine.   

Regardless of when and how emissions will be priced, it is important to know and understand your GHG numbers. Farmers will also be expected to have a farm environment plan that includes actions for mitigating on-farm emissions.