A North Canterbury farm aims to be a leader in sustainable technology as it trials a new system to reduce methane – a first for the New Zealand dairy industry.

Craigmore’s 400‐hectare dairy farm Glen Eyre in Oxford, North Canterbury is the first commercial dairy farm in NZ to use EcoPond. It is an effluent treatment system that removes methane by using the additive iron sulphate.

Craigmore’s general manager of farming, Stuart Taylor, said farming plays an important role in contributing to and mitigating climate change.

“EcoPond could play a key role in supporting farmers to reduce methane and help NZ meet its climate change targets.”

Taylor said EcoPond is an important trial for Craigmore as it searches for innovative ways to reduce emissions and minimise environmental impacts.

Iron sulphate is used to restrict methane-producing microorganisms.  Taylor said this is world-leading technology as initial tests undertaken in May showed a 95% reduction in methane.

Research shows NZ dairy farmers are producing 20% fewer emissions per kilogram of milk solids than in 2000. A study by AgResearch in 2020 reported that NZ dairy farmers have the world's lowest carbon footprint. (Image: Craigmore Sustainables)

The system is the result of a collaboration between NZ-owned agricultural cooperative Ravensdown and Lincoln University.

Agnition, the newly established innovation and investment arm of Ravensdown, developed EcoPond for use on dairy farms.

Agnition CEO Jasper van Halder said EcoPond is an important technology that will help deliver practical solutions for NZ farmers and growers. Agnition is keen to rapidly scale-up innovations like EcoPond on a national level.

Van Halder said partnerships are required in the sector and Craigmore is taking a leading role in demonstrating what can be achieved with EcoPond.

“Partners like Craigmore show us the future of farming.”

This story has been updated to make it clear that Craigmore’s 400‐hectare dairy farm Glen Eyre in Oxford, North Canterbury was the first to use EcoPond.