Northland Farm Resilience

Whether from climate cycles or climate change, we can expect more frequent damaging rainfall events, wild storms and intense summer droughts. Farming policies, practices and business structures need to minimise disruption and manage risk.

With funding from the Sustainable Farming Fund, a project team comprising NZ Landcare Trust, local farmers and the Northland Regional Council contracted AgResearch and AgFirst Northland to identify suitable on-farm adaptations.

First Year (2008/09)

A survey was undertaken to identify tactical and strategic activities adopted by farmers  - an overview of the survey findings is available opposite >

Second Year (2009/10)

AgFirst Northland worked directly with sheep and beef farmers to identify practical strategies to increase their resilience to adverse climatic events. AgResearch documented and assessed the social dynamics, with the intention of applying this knowledge in the future.

Two workshops were held on a case study farm, involving a core group of farmers linked to the project. 

Carbon farming case studies were prepared for two Northland farms, utilising Farmax modeling to demonstrate the wider implications and opportunities for farm systems. Only a few farmers were able to relate the concept of carbon farming to their own farm system, despite the fact that it may be a key component in increasing resilience. The case studies provide farmers with information about opportunities to generate additional income from carbon, increase awareness of implications of climate change and encourage appropriate management changes... case studies>

Third Year (2010/11)

The focus for the final year has been the creation and dissemination of a series of fact sheets encouraging greater farm resilience. These are available for download opposite >

Additional information on this project can be found on the MAF website - here>