Lead scientists

After completing his PhD in crop agronomy, Derrick conducted research in the UK on the impacts of climate change for wheat crops. In 1996, he returned to a lecturing position at Lincoln University and now leads its Dryland Pastures Research team, where his focus is to develop farm systems for New Zealand East Coast farmers to reduce the impact of climate change. His expertise is in matching legumes to the environment, with his research into the growth and development of plants increasing flexibility in lucerne grazing management. For more than 20 years, he has advocated the use of legumes to drive New Zealand beef and lamb production.

“I am co-ordinating the Lincoln University science team involved in three of the four themes of the Hill Country Futures project. The focus is on using legumes such as lucerne to overcome nitrogen deficiency in hill country farming. We will measure the response of pasture species and legumes to their environment. Our aim is to give farmers confidence to invest in appropriate legume-based pastures for hill country areas, with an initial estimate of yield potential. The information generated will be available for inclusion in feed budgeting programmes and financial and environmental analyses.”