Blinc works on projects ranging from facilitating workshops, connecting organisations to multi year and party research. Nothing is too big or too small, the first step is to connect. Click here to get in touch regarding future Collaborations.
Future-proofing plants for a changing climate
The key focus of plant science research at Lincoln University, led by Dr Rainer Hofmann, is to understand the consequences of a changing climate – including temperature rises, variability of climate extremes, and fluctuations in clouding and UV radiation – for plants. Hofmann’s team of researchers, including postgraduate students, are building knowledge that can be applied in the management of crops and biological systems, both in New Zealand and worldwide.
The research has led to collaborations with the Lincoln Hub partners AgResearch and Plant & Food Research, as well as local company PGG Wrightson and international universities. The research is focused on identifying the stress response of pasture species, such as white clover, and horticultural crop plants, and incorporating this knowledge into breeding programmes and management systems.
Next generation dairy farms
Pastoral 21 – a collaborative venture between DairyNZ, Fonterra, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, which is managed by AgResearch – was established in 2007 to boost farm productivity and lessen environmental impacts. The programme aims to provide proven, profitable, simple adoption-ready systems that lift production and reduce nutrient loss.
The programme has projects in four areas across New Zealand – Waikato, Manawatu, South Otago and Canterbury. Research at the Lincoln University Dairy Farm and Lincoln University’s Ashley Dene Farm is investigating approaches which will increase productivity while lowering the environmental footprint of the milking platform. The research includes winter feeding of dairy cows to achieve high production over the winter period and stocking strategies to improve efficiency and benefits to the environment.
Taking fish silage to the livestock market
A team from Lincoln University is working with local Canterbury-based United Fisheries to develop an innovative low energy input and cost-effective process to produce fish silage. The research is investigating the efficacy and practical implications of using fish silage to reduce methane emissions and nematode burdens in the sheep and cattle industry.
United Fisheries uses damaged fish and by-products of the filleting process to manufacture fish silage, which is stable at room temperature for extended periods and retains the valuable lipid and protein content of the original fish material. Early results from the research has shown that fish oil in the diet of dairy cows can reduce methane production by rumen microbes and can have a positive health effect on the fatty acid composition of milk.
Cereal crops for New Zealand conditions
The Plant & Food Research cereal breeding programme, in association with Canterbury-based Luisetti Seeds, is focused on breeding new cultivars tailored for New Zealand conditions. The programme focuses on new milling wheat cultivars with properties that meet the requirements of the food industry, as well as cultivars for feeding animals. Agronomic performance is key – new cultivars have improved intrinsic resistance to pests and diseases, and the programme also has an increasing focus on cultivars with efficient nutrient and water requirements.
Cultivars from the programme hold about 45% of the New Zealand market and generate more than $50 million from seed sales and harvested grains. Conquest wheat, for example, is the first premium 1 grade milling wheat bred specifically for New Zealand conditions and is more than 10% of the total wheat harvest.