Welcome to ARGOS
The Agricultural Research Group on Sustainability (ARGOS) is an unincorporated joint venture between the Agribusiness Group, Lincoln University, and the University of Otago. It is funded by the Ministry of Science & Innovation (MSI) (formerly Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST)) and various industry stakeholders and commenced in October 2003. ARGOS has a mandate to examine the environmental, social and economic sustainability of New Zealand farming systems.
A better understanding of the environmental effects, and the social and economic consequences of different farming practices will help New Zealanders and their land-use systems achieve more appropriate and enduring accommodations with the New Zealand environment as well as continue to satisfy the demands of market and community stakeholders.
The goal of the ARGOS research is to facilitate innovation and improved performance in primary production systems. The research programme has secured 'long-term' funding from MSI as a first step in a 20 to 30 year project.
ARGOS was set up to investigate the environmental, social and, economic effects of different farm types:
sheep and cattle farms - 12
conventional, 12 integrated, 12 organic
High country farms - 24 farms with different
levels of intensity
orchards - 12 growing Hayward
variety under the KiwiGreen (IM) programme (ZESPRI Green™),
12 growing Hayward variety under the certified organic
programme (ZESPRI Green Organic™) and 12 growing
Hort16A variety under KiwiGreen (ZESPRI Gold™)"
An adjunct study
of Ngāi Tahu land holdings will encompass a variety
of types of farming
- An adjunct study of 24 dairy
farms on the North Island - 12 converting to organic
and 12 conventional
In future years, converting farms will be included to test whether the change in farm practice associated with IPM and organic certification actually caused the differences we may observe between already converted and control farms. An immediate goal of ARGOS is to compare the sustainability of conventional, IPM and organic approaches. However, it is also committed to discovering determinants of sustainability in general, irrespective of farming sector and the particular type of farming being applied.
Webmaster - Jon Manhire