With the tag line ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants…’ and a photograph from 1923 of scientists at the Ruakura Animal Research station in Hamilton (the forerunner of today’s AgResearch) the Science Review highlights some of the many successful scientific endeavours that have taken decades of research effort, thought and discovery.
“Some of the research contained in the Science Review has literally taken generations,” says AgResearch Chief Executive, Dr Andrew West.
“Productivity gains in agriculture, or reductions in its environmental footprint come from small and steady increments of progress. This means chipping away year on year using ever new technologies that compound to create the gains that help underpin New Zealand’s prosperity.
The Science Review, the initiative of AgResearch Chief Scientist Dr Stephen Goldson, gives the progress of eight key research journeys and in some cases follows younger scientists and research developing alongside each other. "AgResearch scientists and people we have worked with have made huge strides in various areas of important research. Much of our work cannot be captured in the occasional media story which often looks at the most recent development. This Science Review fills in the longer story but shows the breadth of achievement from the starting points to today and tells how important and effective science has been in developing pastoral agriculture and the New Zealand economy," says Dr Goldson.
“Issues such as pest incursions, pastoral landuse intensification and the spectre of climate change will never be resolved by short-term project based research but we can make a difference with long-term, determined and well-directed research and development,” says Dr Goldson.
The Science Review highlights the work being done to improve productivity along the whole value chains of dairy, meat and wool. It also shows how productivity gains are protected through improved plant and animal genetics, reduced gut parasite burdens and new ways of protecting water through agro-ecosystems.
The Science Review also focuses on other key threads of scientific work including:
Dr West says: “The work to produce the Science Review began because in the routine and necessary production of newsletters and media releases it was challenging to highlight the essential, long-term nature of our research.”
Allanah James AgResearch Manager Corporate Affairs 029 983 3989
For more information contact:
Keeping our waterways clean Dr Stewart Ledgard 029 838 5133
DNA tools for improving sheep breeding John McEwan 029 489 9227
Developing successful biocontrol for pasture pests Dr Barbara Barratt 021 289 9059
Endophyte research revolutionises pastoral agriculture Dr Syd Easton 029 351 8114
Creating better forages and more productive farms Dr Chris Jones 029 351 8237
The science behind better beef and lamb Dr Mike North 021 228 5757
Managing parasite resistance to anthelmintic drugs Dr Dave Leathwick 06 351 8085
The biology of rumen microflora Dr Bill Kelly 06 351 8118
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