Pastoral agriculture a significant driver of New Zealand s economy based on an introduced grassland ecology and technological advances.pdf (4.34 MB)

Pastoral agriculture, a significant driver of New Zealand’s economy, based on an introduced grassland ecology and technological advances

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 02:18 authored by John CaradusJohn Caradus, Stephen GoldsonStephen Goldson, Derrick MootDerrick Moot, Jacqueline Rowarth, Alan Stewart

The New Zealand economy is export-driven and heavily reliant on the productivity of the pastoral sector. The transformation of native forest and tussock grassland ecologies to temperate grasslands occurred rapidly with the arrival of Europeans. However, this transplanted ecology required the development and use of plant, microbial, animal and management technologies for successful grassland farming. These have enabled New Zealand pastoral agriculture to compete effectively in international markets, without subsidies. The extensive list of plant-based and associated microbial-based adaptations, and the management strategies that have enabled the development of highly productive grasslands are described and reviewed. Credible science is required to inform the debate on the environmental impacts of pasture production to avoid misinformation proliferating. This needs transparent and objective integrity from the science community using funding that seeks no defined or preconceived outcomes. Critically, much of the success of New Zealand pastoral farming has been due to the willingness and ability of farmers to use, adapt, adopt and integrate new ideas and technologies into their farming systems. Historic, current and future challenges, and threats that impact on the productivity and sustainability of pastoral agriculture are described and the means to achieve further technology development to manage these is discussed.


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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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Taylor & Francis Group

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Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand



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