Agriculture is New Zealand's largest export income earner, and pastoral science plays a key role in delivering new knowledge and technologies which underpin the pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology value chains.

A New Zealand crown research institute, AgResearch, provides leading science in:

  • pasture-based animal production systems
  • new pasture plant varieties
  • agriculture-derived greenhouse gas mitigation and pastoral climate change adaption
  • agri-food and bio-based products and agri-technologies
  • integrated social and biophysical research to support pastoral, agri-food and agri- technology sector development.

Through the understanding of plant and endophyte technologies, such as metabolomics and epigenetics, AgResearch supports the development of a new generation of livestock and plant-derived products.

Land use and land management are studied in relation to environmental impacts and climate change. Improving dairy, beef, lamb and deer production systems is addressed by innovative research on soil and water management, pasture fertilisation and farm nutrient management. At the same time, AgResearch seeks to reduce negative impacts on the quality of soil, water and atmosphere and ecosystems.

Agricultural systems research focuses on creating more profitable and sustainable farms and agribusinesses. It also provides the capacity to understand complex, interconnected agricultural issues.

Scientists at AgResearch create the knowledge and tools to develop high-value foods and ingredients from pastoral-based industries, tailored to market and consumer preferences for quality, human health and well-being. Their biocontrol and biosecurity work focuses on the sustainable management of pests and weeds to benefit the pastoral sector.

Textiles and biomaterials research includes recognising demand, formulating innovative products and seeing them through the development process. With strengths in development and engineering, AgResearch supplies materials for a large number of applications, from human biomedics to industry and the worldwide fashion scene.

Other areas of work for AgResearch include:

  • biosecurity, land, soil and freshwater management
  • climate change adaption and mitigation
  • food and beverage innovation (including foods for human nutrition and health, food technologies and food safety).
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