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Fieldays

16 – 19 June 2021
Thank you for visiting Manaaki Whenua at the National Agricultural Fieldays in Hamilton. We hope you enjoyed discovering our research around creating more resilient landscapes in New Zealand; these insights help us care for our land in a changing world. This page has been created so you can revisit the stories on our stand, find out how our famous augmented reality sandpit works, or contact the scientists leading our research.

Regenerative agriculture

Farmers are saying that regenerative agriculture is saving their farms... but is it? Where is the science behind this? See how our scientists are exploring the potential for this approach to make a difference to the future of farming in New Zealand. 

Regen Ag – fact or ficton

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Soil carbon

While we think of trees and forests as carbon sinks, it may be we can treat our soils in the same way. After all, soil holds a large percentage of the world’s carbon. Different land management practices might either reduce or increase soil carbon. Our work aims to explore this: Can we increase the carbon stored in our soils, and if so, what will the benefits be?

Soil carbon – as easy as ABC?

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Climate change

As our climate is changing, we may need to manage our land differently. Grapes are a great example of a crop that is highly sensitive to the climate. Changes in climate will impact what varietals will grow where. Understanding and anticipating these changes allows you to adapt your farm management practices.

Climate change – what's our plan B?

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Augmented reality sandpit

Hopefully you left the sand on our stand while experimenting with future landscapes in our augmented reality (AR) sandpit!

First you created your own landscape in the sand. After playing in the sand, you were then prompted to make land-use decisions by adding or removing six different land-uses, creating an optimal landscape to create positive environmental and economic outputs. Once these decisions were final, you could see the impact your choices had on greenhouse gases, economic output, biodiversity and water quality.

How does it work?

The AR Sandpit was designed and programmed by UC Davis. It uses a computer projector and a Kinect 3D camera mounted above the sand. The Kinect detects the distance to the sand below, while a visualisation and elevation model with contour lines and a colour map are cast from the projector onto the surface of the sand. As visitors move the sand, the Kinect detects changes in the distance to the sands surface, and the project colours and contour lines update in real time. 

Toitū Envirocare

Staff from Lake Hawea Station – the first Toitū carbonzero certified farm

Toitū Envirocare leads positive change through a system of robust environmental programmes aligned with international best-practice. A leading provider of environmental certifications in New Zealand, Toitū Envirocare currently certifies over 400 businesses under the Toitū carbonzero, Toitū carbonreduce and Toitū enviromark certification programmes.

Toitū carbonzero and carbonreduce certification for farms

Toitū farm certification is proof a farm is positively contributing to the sustainability of our future through measuring, reducing, and offsetting their carbon footprint.

Toitū carbonreduce or carbonzero certification means a farm has

  • credibly measured its on-farm carbon footprint, which has been independently verified,
  • developed a plan to manage and reduce on-farm emissions,
  • and in the case of Toitū carbonzero, demonstrated a net-zero emissions balance through existing carbon sequestration and/or offsetting through carbon credits.

Developed in partnership with AsureQuality and Overseer, the Toitū farm certification enables farmers to future proof against regulation while taking advantage of the growing market demand and price premiums for sustainable products.

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