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Future scenarios for arable agriculture

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posted on 2024-06-21, 03:59 authored by Clémence Vannier, Thomas Cochrane, Peyman Zawar Reza, Larry Bellamy
Food security, tackling climate change through emissions reduction, and developing alternative proteins in New Zealand are three threads that were explored by the Future Scenarios for Arable Agriculture project, explained in this interactive 'story map' summary.
  • Increasing wheat production to gain self-sufficiency (scenario 1) was found to require an extra 13-25,000 hectares of wheat. Introducing this wheat production in a dairy system has clear positive impact, producing almost 8 times less CO2-e biogenic emissions and using one-third less water for irrigation than dairy.
  • Reducing nitrogen and methane emissions (scenario 2) found a herd reduction of 10-15% plus a 30% increase of brassica and grains in animal feed would achieve objectives by 2050. This also reduced emissions from nitrogen over 20%.
  • Developing a pea and fava bean protein market in NZ (scenario 3) was found to have high environmental gains, with peas and beans requiring half the amount of irrigation water and 5 times less nitrogen to grow than other mainstream crops.
An assessment tool allows anyone to explore scenarios related to a particular crop, the evolution of prices, changes in yields, and the environmental effects of changes in agricultural practices.


Funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's Our Land and Water National Science Challenge (Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai) as part of project Future Scenarios for Arable Agriculture


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