Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.

Hill Country Cropping

PhD student Josie Winters with the swede crop grown for this research.

The practice of hill country cropping is rapidly developing around New Zealand, despite a lack of science in this area. Pasture is sprayed by helicopter or aeroplane and then seeds and fertiliser are dropped on to the surface of hill sides – hoping that they will germinate and create higher quality fodder for stock. This practice increases soil fertility and exposes bare soil to rainfall and pugging damage.

A new study has just begun to investigate the impact of hill country cropping on sediment and nutrient loss from this practice and to examine the impact of sowing practices.

Key contact

The team

  • Dr Lucy Burkitt

    Dr Lucy Burkitt

    Senior Research Officer - School of Agriculture and Environment

    I have spent 20 years researching soil and nutrient management issues in agriculture, with a specific focus on water quality and phosphorus loss from intensive and hill country pasture systems and more recently, use of high frequency water quality sensors and nutrient loss and attenuation/mitigation in hill country landscapes. I also co-ordinate the Intermediate and Advanced Farm Environment Planning professional development courses and teach in to both the Intermediate and Advanced Sustainable Nutrient Management courses at Massey University.

  • Associate Professor David Horne

    Associate Professor David Horne

    Associate Professor in Soil Science - School of Agriculture and Environment

PhD student

Josie Winters