Genetically modified grass that could lower farming’s environmental footprint will be taken offshore next year for field testing.
Developed by AgResearch at their Grasslands site in Palmerston North, the plants will be shipped to the United States for testing outside because of New Zealand’s strict GM laws.
Research on the potted plants was still at the proof of concept stage of development, AgResearch dairy sector manager Shane Devlintold farmers and rural professionals at a presentation in Te Awamutu.
“If you said to me, what is the most exciting piece of science that is coming that could really have a substantial impact on the industry at some point in the future, it would be this piece of science here.”
The plants produced 50 per cent more yield, between 10-15 per cent more energy and lower methane.
The offshore testing would help work out its value for New Zealand.
Other elements of this research included developing a methane reduction vaccine and specific crops that lowered animal emissions.
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