Grasses of the future will make animals healthier, more productive and reduce their impact on the environment.
AgResearch scientist Tony Conner said advances in modern grasses would bring many advantages to farming.
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“Our teams are engaged in underpinning science and plant breeding research to create high-performance forage legume and grass varieties for New Zealand farms and the international market,” he told farmers at the NZ Grasslands Association conference in Timaru….
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An investment of $25 million over five years into genetically modified forages research was made possible with a grant from the [New Zealand] Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour fund.
“What we are doing is enhancing the ryegrass so that there is more energy and nutrition stored in the grass,” Conner said.
“This means the animals feeding on it are healthier, and therefore they become better producers for the farm. The result will be a major boost for the agricultural economy.”
“What we are also finding is that a by-product of these changes to the grass will be important gains …[for] the environment. This includes less methane gas produced by the animals and the change in nitrogen requirements with these grasses could reduce nitrate runoff.”
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