I am pleased to have the opportunity to introduce this year’s issue of Soil Horizons. Soil Horizons has been bringing you bite-sized updates on progress in soil and land research from Landcare Research since 1997. This year the National Land Resource Centre (NLRC) has partnered with the Soil Horizons team to widen the scope and authorship to bring you soil, land, and water research from across the CRIs.
The NLRC is a collaborative centre that aims to deliver more integrated research effort on land and the interface with freshwater; greater alignment of research activity with national priorities; as well as capacity-building to increase the uptake of scientific information and associated tools.
In this issue, we take the theme of the National Science Challenge ‘Our land and water’ to showcase research that aims to enhance productivity while maintaining land and water for future generations. This represents one of the most significant priorities for New Zealand.
So what will be required for the national science challenge to make an impact?
- Collective science effort at farm, catchment and regional scales – the potential for which is nicely demonstrated in ‘CIBR: Putting waste to work’.
- Development of, and access to, robust data on soil, land and water variability as described in ‘Meeting the demand for quality soil information’ and ‘Instant access to 3D geology and groundwater information’.
- Science and tools that can be more easily ‘consumed’ by those driving decision-making processes, best practice, and innovation, a sentiment reflected in ‘Where to for nutrient management science’ “Increased translation of science into more useable form, simplification of management software tools, and increasing the numbers of experienced advisors for land managers would be beneficial”. Customising the way science is provided to specific communities or stakeholders is one method of ‘translation’, highlighted in ‘Convenient access to Maori land information’.
The work progressing in each of these areas indicates positive contributions to the national science challenge and reinforces the value of initiatives such as the NLRC.