Research on Riverside Farm

Some examples of research taking place on Massey University's Riverside Farm. The work on these projects often takes place on multiple farms. Riverside gives Massey researchers the opportunity to test research work in the drier environment present in the Wairarapa.

Grazing in lactation

The part of this study that took place on Riverside investigated if the provision of herbages such as lucerne or a plaintain herb mix on a dry land model would minimise the impacts of breeding ewe lambs on the liveweight of progeny.


This research is examining the growth of lambs fed on either lucerne or a herb-mix of chicory, plantain and red and white clover. Initial results have shown that alternative planting can be a tool to improve live weight gains of ewe lambs before they are bred.


The aim is to develop pregnancy interventions which maximize the long term outcome, in terms of both performance and health, for production animals. The paradigms examined have included dam nutrition, age, parity and size.


This program aims to quantify production levels and address the reasons why many farmers do not breed their hoggets.  The program to date has developed management strategies for farmers during the breeding period, in pregnancy and in lactation.


This is a two-year Sustainable Farming Fund project which began in July 2015. It is developing a new extension model based on high-quality farmer/scientist interaction and farmer-led networking. A series of workshops are being held with Massey scientists and 41 sheep and beef farmers from the Manawatu, Hawkes Bay, and Wairarapa. The workshops are examining lucerne and herb pastures research and farmers’ own experience with these crops. 

sheep udder abnormalities

Examination of udder abnormalities, udder size, shape and teat size on lamb survival and growth. 1200 commercially farmed two- and four-tooth ewes will be examined four times a year to assess udder traits and relate to lamb survival and growth.


The research team

  • Prof Hugh Blair

    Prof Hugh Blair

    Professor - School of Agriculture and Environment

  • Dr Rene Corner-Thomas

    Dr Rene Corner-Thomas

    Senior Lecturer - School of Agriculture and Environment
    Senior Lecturer - School of Veterinary Science

  • Kate Griffiths

    Kate Griffiths

    Lecturer in Pastoral Livestock Health - School of Veterinary Science

  • Prof Paul Kenyon

    Prof Paul Kenyon

    Deputy Head of School, School of Agriculture & Environment - School of Agriculture and Environment

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