Some of the University’s research into greenhouse gas reduction was showcased to an audience of international science and policy leaders on Saturday.
The Manawatu campus hosted a delegation from the Global Research Alliance, which was formed in Copenhagen last year and features representatives from around the world. The alliance is responsible for finding ways to produce more food with fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
The delegation was in the city to tour the facilities of the New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, based at AgResearch. These included the New Zealand Biochar Research Centre at Massey and Landcare Research, where nitrous oxide mitigation research is being carried out.
Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey hosted a lunch in the new AgHort building foyer, which allowed the delegates to mix with staff and postgraduate students.
Professor Mike Hedley of the Institute of Natural Resources gave an overview of Massey’s work in the area of greenhouse gas mitigation, while Professor Jim Jones demonstrated the biochar pyroliser built at the New Zealand Biochar Research Centre. The unit is used to turn organic matter into charcoal, which holds carbon and can be reused on pasture.
Other researchers included Professor Ian Yule, who had his array of proximal soil sensing gear on hand to illustrate how soil and pasture quality can be determined from the seat of a four wheeler, and Professor Surinder Saggar, who discussed the greenhouse gas analysis being undertaken by his PhD students.
Professor Hedley says the delegates were impressed with the research facilities they saw at all three institutions. “But they were doubly impressed with the trip to Hew Dalrymple’s farm at Bulls to see variable-rate, centre pivot irrigation in action,” he says. “A world first technology that reduces both the water and energy foot print of irrigated crops and pastures.”