Our research helps producers meet ecoverification standards for their products.
We work collaboratively to determine greenhouse gas footprints – in carbon equivalents – across the lifecycle of food products. Our work with the kiwifruit, wine, pipfruit, vegetable and berryfruit industries helps to determine the eco-footprint of products consumed in the destination country. These footprints can be used both in ecoverification marketing and to inform the design and implementation of new, more sustainable practices.
We have several tools and technologies to help with footprint measurements and to guide change that reduces impacts on the environment.
Soil Plant Atmosphere System Model (SPASMO)
This modelling tool predicts the fate of surface-applied chemicals, measures the impact of nitrate movement below the rootzone and promotes efficient water management by providing a risk assessment of irrigation needs. SPASMO can be applied across a range of soils and draws on historical weather data to ensure weather variations are taken into account.
Sap flow measurement technologies
We have developed sap-flow measurement technologies to monitor water use within plants. This allows us to determine how canopy management and irrigation practices can be modified to minimise the amount of water needed for irrigation.
The Growsafe® Calculator enables growers to choose pesticides best suited to their crops and with the smallest footprint. The calculator assists in eco-verifying grower practices affecting soils as well as surface and ground waters.
The Sprayplan Manager is a valuable tool for growers wanting to manage agrichemical use responsibly on their properties. The free web-based tool produces a personalised Property Spray Plan, identifying spray-sensitive areas and potential spray-drift risks.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management
Plant & Food Research is a partner in the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre. Our research is examining means of reducing nitrous oxide emissions from soil processes and managing soil carbon levels.
By working with us, producers can quantify the sustainability of their food production systems and capture market premiums for eco-verified food products.