Aotearoa—New Zealand (NZ) is internationally renowned for picturesque landscapes and agricultural products. Agricultural intensification has been economically beneficial to NZ but has implications for its clean green image. Contaminated waterways, high carbon emissions, and extensive soil erosion demonstrate the downside of high stocking rates and land clearing. Transformative farming systems are required to address the challenge of balancing production with the environment. Whilst navigating through the process of change, farmers need to be supported to make informed decisions at the farm and landscape scale. Landscape ecology (LE) is ideally positioned to inform the development of future farming landscapes and provide a scientific context to the criteria against which land-related information can be evaluated. However, to do this effectively, LE needs to demonstrate that it can link theory with practice. Using NZ as a case example, this paper discusses the key roles for LE in future farming systems. It looks at the way LE can help quantify the state of the landscape, provide support towards the co-creation of alternative futures, and assist with the inclusion of land-related information into design and planning to ensure mitigation and adaption responses assist in the transformation of farming systems for sustainable outcomes.
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