We focus our R&D on improved understanding of the sustainability and resilience of livestock and arable farming systems both in the UK and internationally. We compare the sustainability and resilience of business-as-usual under current climate with alternative environmental and management futures using integrated experimental, empirical and modelling approaches. In focusing on the agricultural sector, we take explicit account of co-benefits and trade-offs arising from on-farm management interventions and strategies, whilst our scaling out includes direct consideration of the impacts of on-farm management on the delivery of environmental objectives impacted by multiple sectors.
Our NZRF Strategic Area has internationally renowned expertise across the key components of agroecosystem science including soil quality and health, emissions to water and air, grazing management, data science, process-based modelling and life cycle assessment. Our ongoing portfolio of programmes and projects spans discovery to applied science, delivered by world-leading teams working on: (i) farm emissions to the environment (i.e., water and air), (ii) landscape systems, (iii) agroecosystem data science, (iv) agroecosystem modelling, (v) sociology of agroecosystems, (vi) grazing systems science, and (vii) life cycle assessment. Linkages across the NZRF Strategic Area are supported by analytical chemists, statisticians and data scientists with expertise and skills relevant to our work on agricultural production in the context of sustainability and resilience to current or future abiotic and biotic stresses.
We sustain many partnerships with co-producers and end-users of our R&D, both nationally and internationally. These include farmer and farm advisor networks, food processors, retailers, government departments, small- and medium sized companies (SMEs), corporates, universities and other research organisations, and charitable/philanthropic (NGO) groups.