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Rights: © Copyright 2014. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
Published 9 June 2014
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Land Use Change and Intensification (LUCI) is a programme being run collaboratively by Plant & Food Research and AgResearch. It helps farmers to increase production from their land in an environmentally sustainable way. In this video clip, Dr Valerie Snow (AgResearch) and Dr Mike Beare (Plant & Food Research) describe how LUCI has helped to develop tools with a range of uses – from managing irrigation to forecasting how much fertiliser a particular farm will need.

Point of interest
Listen out for the percentage of New Zealand wheat farmers who are thought to be benefiting from LUCI’s tools.

Transcript

Dr Valerie Snow
Land Use Change and Intensification is an integrated programme that’s a collaboration between Plant & Food Research and AgResearch that delivers benefits to farmers for increased production while also maintaining environmental sustainability and the ability of the industries to demonstrate that sustainability.

Dr Mike Beare
So the Land Use Change and Intensification programme, we call it LUCI, has been involved in developing a wide range of tools. The tools would be designed to help us predict the capacity of soils to supply nitrogen to a crop, for example, and that information then becomes really useful in forecasting the amount of fertiliser that a farmer needs in order to meet the demand of the crop.

Dr Valerie Snow
The collaboration has really arisen because we bring benefits to each other. The Plant & Food people have expertise in the intensive vegetable and arable production, whereas AgResearch has expertise in pastoral production, sheep and beef, and dairy.

Dr Mike Beare
One of the really key issues for the agricultural industry in the future is what we call the right to farm, and that will be based on demonstrating that farming practices avoid significant impacts on the wider environment. Getting the balance right is absolutely critical, and that’s what these tools are about.

Dr Valerie Snow
For some things, farmers can see an immediate benefit for what we’re doing. That’s particularly true where it’s something that will both increase their production or reduce their costs without adding too much complexity to the way they need to farm, and a lot of those things are to do with irrigation management or fertiliser management.

Dr Mike Beare
The industry now estimates that perhaps as many as 80% of the farmers across New Zealand who grow wheat are actually benefiting from the applications that have come out of that tool.

Dr Valerie Snow
I suspect that the reason that we have progressed to this stage is because of the range of solutions that we’re providing, both to the farmers as well as to the regulatory authorities, but also to the industry bodies when they’re helping to demonstrate to their markets, to their international markets, that their industry is working sustainably.

Acknowledgement
Video courtesy of Kiwi Innovation Network Limited
© Kiwi Innovation Network Limited, 2013