2016 innovation stories
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Fungi join fight against infection
A collection of New Zealand fungi could play a vital role in solving one of the world’s most serious health concerns.
Plant collection identifies dangerous mystery weed
The Environment Canterbury biosecurity team remember it (for it was the best name they could conjure) sitting ‘on the smoko room table and not having any idea what it was’.
Methane-eating bacteria give farmers a filter for the future
The world is looking for innovative scientific discoveries in the wake of the global agreement to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, struck in Paris earlier this year.
Smart science tackles land use problem for farmers
It’s hard for farmers to turn a profit at the best of times, let alone while reducing their nitrogen footprint. But a study by Landcare Research has found farmers can achieve both.
Hungry helpers beat weeds and save country millions
Waikato dairy and beef farmer Steve Fagan was sceptical, to say the least, when tiny beetles were released on his farm about 25 years ago to control ragwort.
A soil scanner from space age science
Landcare Research is using sensor technologies, similar to those used on the Mars rover, to rapidly scan soils and estimate soil organic carbon stocks. Visible near-infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy is being used on a custom-made soil scanner by Landcare Research as part of a Global Research Alliance (GRA) project, led by CSIRO, Australia.
A Cape to City conservation success story
It’s one of the largest wildlife restorations in New Zealand, and Cape to City programme leaders are optimistic the Hawke’s Bay project will become a template for large-scale renewal of New Zealand’s unique biodiversity.
Discovering prosperity by planting diverse pastures
Landcare Research scientists have made an important discovery about the ubiquitous farming practice of letting grass grow under your gumboots. Soil scientist Dr Paul Mudge, in collaboration with DairyNZ, has discovered that the introduction of herbs into ryegrass pastures can increase annual dry matter production by 1.3 tonnes per hectare.
Catching a killer
In Western Australia, where Dr Stanley Bellgard is from, they call Phytophthora a 'biological bulldozer'. Catchy name, isn’t it? And Phytophthora agathidicida (PTA), more widely referred to by New Zealanders as 'kauri dieback', is proving equally destructive.