[12 October/ New Zealand Herald]

Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) plan to establish a Future Farm to trial new technologies and farm systems. These trials are part of B+LNZ’s strategy to support farming excellence and increase farm productivity and profitability. The farm will be a sheep and beef property with around 6,000 stock units and will function as a commercial livestock farming business and feature advanced monitoring, measuring and communications technologies. This project could be established in Northland if the region’s farmers help B+LNZ find a suitable property. B+LNZ General Manager Innovation, Richard Wakelin, said the possible model would be a lease property or a partnership with an existing farmer, as they are not in the market to purchase; however, the company welcomes ideas. The Future Farm aims to exceed existing high-performance standards in areas including economics, people, animal, environmental and forages. Mr Wakelin added that the farm also aims to test new farming technologies and systems that may be unproven or too high-risk for farmers.