Motu Note #36

Barriers to adoption of no-cost agricultural mitigation practices

Note overview

Combine better cows    
and low stocking to reduce    
costs and emissions.    

animal animal photography cattle 422200For New Zealand to transition to a low-emissions economy, pastoral farmers need to reduce the biological greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that come from their operations. One way to achieve this is by adopting or expanding the use of practices and/or options that could mitigate biological GHG emissions in dairy and sheep and beef systems.

This project focuses on identifying barriers that can curtail farmers’ adoption or expansion of these mitigation practices. The project established three general objectives: develop a typology of possible reasons (barriers) why under-adoption of no-cost mitigation options occurs; test and verify the no-cost status of selected mitigation options; and through interviews and a survey with farmers, explore if no-cost options exist, what the barriers are to adoption, and how these could be addressed. To address these objectives, different research methods and analyses were conducted, which resulted in a range of findings described and discussed in six different papers/reports.

This report summarises the main points and findings described in these papers and presents the key messages and policy implications derived from this work. It also includes findings from a final multi-stakeholder symposium, held in March 2019, to discuss the policy implications of the project and to define its final, most important takeaway messages.

A model looking at dairy stocking rates and mitigation is freely available here.


Fleming, David, Pike Brown, Sandra Cortés Acosta, Cecile de Klein, Robyn Dynes, Loic Henry, Suzi Kerr, Jorie Knook and Bruce Small. 2019. "Barriers to adoption of no-cost agricultural mitigation practices." Motu Note #36. Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. Wellington, New Zealand.


NZ Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre