By Mere McLean

A Māori trust farm in Rotorua has been working with Agresearch on reducing nitrate leaching. Parekarangi Trust Farm began working with the institute in 2016. Science and research is playing a big part in the operations of this Māori farm.

James Warbrick, chairman of Parekarangi Māori Trust says that, “it’s all about looking after our whenua, issues with water quality to our lakes and trying to find the balance of farming profitably”.

Parekarangi has found different ways of managing the land since working with Agresearch. Their main focus has been on reducing nitrate leaching caused by cows.

Chris Koroheke of Agresearch says, “we are looking at the types of food that the cow takes in the supplements and what-ever is in his diet so that it can model that and understand what sort of nitrate leaching is occurring”.

Parekarangi has over 1000 cows on their land.

Trust chair, James Warbrick, says they are doing everything they can to take care of the land and water and if science can provide the answers they are happy to follow that pathway.

“For Parekarangi we have been pretty open we’ve used this initiative as a moulding initiative but our doors are opened for all farmers in the Rotorua area”.

Agreserch is also working with nine other farms to reduce nitrate leaching.

Watch the video here