Land Management Tools

We develop decision-making tools to protect the long-term sustainability of the soil.

Growers and farmers are increasingly confronted with decisions to change their crop and soil management practices in response to changes in land use, shifts in market demand or by their desires to enhance their sustainability, both economic and environmental. To make the right choices, decision makers need integrated tools that allow them to predict the consequences of long-term management changes.

Land Management Index
Plant & Food Research’s Land Management Index tool (LMI) is a simple model that allows growers, resource managers and farmers of intensive and mixed crop farms the ability to predict changes in soil health and associated productivity based on crop and soil management information. The LMI was developed by relating differences in soil quality indicators to individual paddock crop and soil management histories.

Plant & Food Research is a member of the Sustainable Land Use Research Initiative (SLURI). The Initiative acts as a national centre for maintaining and managing New Zealand’s soils and protecting the valuable ecosystems services that soils provide.

The research focuses on three key themes:

  • Soil organic matter, carbon stock and nutrient cycling
  • Soil intactness and integrity
  • Soil natural capital valuation.

Land Use Change & Intensification
Plant & Food Research is the leading partner in the Land Use Change & Intensification (LUCI) programme. The programme is designed to provide the integrated knowledge and tools required by land users and policy makers to assess and better manage the impacts associated with land use change and intensification on agricultural productivity and the environment.

The LUCI paddock-scale models predict the environmental impacts of land use and management change and are used to inform regional and central government policy development.

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