Research Consortia Investments

Research Consortia Investments

DEEResearch also invests into research that is intended to benefit both the venison and velvet industries.  DEEResearch is a member and funder of three pan-livestock industry research consortia, namely-

Each consortium operates in accordance with a multi-year research programme which the consortia members agree in advance.  Members must commit to their funding contribution for the agreed programme in advance and the Government matches industry and industry-body funds.

Johne's Disease Research Consortium
The members of JDRC are:

  • DEEResearch
  • DairyNZ
  • Fonterra
  • Beef + Lamb NZ
  • Massey University
  • Otago University
  • Livestock Improvement Corporation
  • AgResearch

JDRC operates in accordance with a science plan whose objective is to provide tools for the New Zealand farming community and livestock industries to improve control of Johne’s Disease across the sheep, beef, deer and dairy industries.  This year, JDRC is validating various Johne’s disease diagnostic methods, evaluating the merits of different Johne’s disease control and management approaches and investigating the extent to which personalized Johne’s disease management approaches can be developed depending on exact testing results. 

As a significant industry funder of JDRC, DEEResearch has a director on the JDRC Board.  That director is Dr Mandy Bell who reports to and liaises with DEEResearch on JDRC’s direction.

Pastoral Genomics
The members of PG are:

  • DEEResearch
  • DairyNZ
  • Fonterra
  • Beef + Lamb NZ
  • Massey University
  • Otago University
  • Livestock Improvement Corporation 
  • AgResearch

forage image

PG’s core work is research to bring about forage improvements – sustainability and productivity – through biotechnology.  It aims to improve clover and ryegrass by-

  • targetted selection for and breeding from better cultivars using markers for traits of interest (‘marker assisted selection’); and
  • cisgenic manipulation – the use of beneficial genes found in one or more strain of a species in other strains of the same species.

    As all deer consume forages, improved forage cultivars will have benefits to venison and velvet producers alike.

Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium
The consortium partners of PGgRc are:

  • AgResearch
  • FertResearch
  • Fonterra
  • PGG Wrightson
  • DairyNZ
  • DEEResearch
  • Beef + Lamb NZ 
  • Landcorp

PgGRc aims to provide New Zealand livestock farmers with the knowledge and tools to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.  The New Zealand pastoral industries invest in PGgRc to address their contribution of 48.5% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, for which New Zealand faces international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

Strings of methanogens

 

Left: Strings of methanogens - the organisms that live in the deer rumen and produce methane

 

 

PGgRc’s research projects:

  • examine low greenhouse gas-emitting farm systems;
  • seek ways to exploit genetic variation between different animals of the same species in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions;
  • investigate the biology of microbes in the rumen that produce methane (methanogens);
  • involve genomic studies of methanogens;
  • investigate the merits of methanogen vaccines; and
  • nitrous oxide mitigation measures. 

The research programme draws together complimentary disciplines of microbiology, genomics, animal nutrition, genetics and farm systems to develop mitigation solutions that have wide applicability across the entire livestock business.

Whilst there is other Government-sponsored research into agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation underway, PgGRc’s specific objective is to coordinate research into non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming and do so in a way that will bring about benefits directly to New Zealand livestock farmers.