Science Communication is Key

Attendees at the Waihao Wainono Community Catchment Group Field Day were informed about up to date research to help farmers to maximise their soil while meeting land management rules.

Plant and Food Research Scientist Trish Fraser used soil samples that had been under different management to demonstrate the rates of water infiltration when a soil has been repeatedly cultivated or under pasture. Soil structure under pasture is greatly improved with time.

The communication of scientific research to those who can benefit from it is key to keeping New Zealand agriculture moving forward and preserving our environment.

See article:

Image: Soil scientist Trish Fraser talks to farmers at the Waihao Wainono Community Catchment Group’s field day at Hugh and Liz Wigley’s farm. Photo / Sally Brooker.

Brendon Malcolm

Recent work by Lincoln University Alumni Brendon Malcolm now a scientist at Plant & Food Research, gets screen time. Check it out in the link below.

“Winter grazing by livestock on kale or fodder beet has been identified as creating a “hot spot” for nitrogen leaching. High stocking densities contribute to the problem, and land often lies fallow for three to five months after grazing until new crops are sown in spring. Trials by Plant & Food Research scientists in Canterbury indicate that leaching losses are significantly reduced (between 18 – 46%) when a crop is established directly after grazing, as residual nitrogen is taken up by plants as they grow. A new study by Brendan Malcolm is looking at the agronomic questions raised by the earlier work. The new trials look at oats as a green-chop catch crop after winter-grazed fodder kale. Questions to be answered include; how early a crop can be established in winter conditions, what the effects are of establishing crops in winter soils and what the potential is of biomass production. See this story on Rural Delivery, Saturday morning at 7am on TVNZ 1!” –

Rural Delivery Episode