Our core business is investing in the research and development of forage options and in the advancement of endophyte technology to increase the profits returned back to farmers.
We understand that there are many cultivar options currently available, so we were the first to initiate grazing system trials. These identify the critical link between using a product and using the right management systems to achieve the greatest return per hectare. We also invest in an on-farm trial system to compare different forage cultivars under a wide range of environments around New Zealand. This trialling system gives us confidence in recommending the correct cultivar for each situation. We are active participants in the independent National Forage Variety Trials (NFVT®), coordinated by the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association Inc.
Agricom has partnerships with Grasslands Innovation, a joint venture which includes Grasslanz Technology, a subsidiary of AgResearch. Forage crops are also sourced from an external relationship via Plant & Food Research (NZ) within the Forage Innovations joint venture programme.
Ecotain® environmental plantain comes from the Greener Pastures Project, which combined research and expertise from Agricom, Massey and Lincoln universities as well as Plant & Food Research. Alongside the DairyNZ led Forages for Reduced Nitrogen Leaching (FRNL) programme, the Greener Pastures Project has a comprehensive series of peer-reviewed scientific papers to support findings on Ecotain.
In 2019 the project team, led by Agricom, won a Primary Industries NZ Innovation and Collaboration Award which recognised and celebrated the contributions of professionals that work on primary sector projects. The collaboration of the whole project team is vital when it comes to producing innovative projects for New Zealand’s primary industries. This award recognised an individual or team of people who have worked on a project designed to make New Zealand agriculture more efficient and effective.
NFVT data contributes to the DairyNZ Forage Value Index (FVI) and was set up by the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association Inc. (NZPBRA), a society established to promote plant breeding and research in New Zealand.
Trials commenced in 1991 and continue to date with approximately 40 active trials in the ground at any one time.