Agricultural and Environmental Systems

agricultural-systems-research.jpg Our staff incorporate the Institute of Agriculture and Environment’s research disciplines into management systems, to understand the context in which agricultural and environmental activities occur. Our aim is to ensure economic viability while maintaining or improving natural resources.

For more information about our research activity, select individual researchers' names below.

Our expertise

Dairy systems

Dairy systems research covers animal nutrition; sustainable dairy production systems, including environmental impact; dairy heifer rearing; milk quality and composition; dairy cattle housing; lameness; and animal health and welfare. 

Contact Professor Danny Donaghy

Project Dairy 1

Project Dairy 1 is a collaborative ‘living research farm’ project designed to address the issue of how to farm profitably and responsibly within resource limits. The site of the research, Massey University’s Dairy 1 farm, is managed as a profitable, low input, pasture based dairy farm. The farm is employing data richness and smart technologies to meet the needs of low input future farm systems.

Read more about Project Dairy 1

Organic vs conventional dairy systems trial

The organic vs conventional dairy systems trial, set up in 2001 and run for 10 years, was the first comparative grassland-based open-grazing dairy study in the world. It recorded and analysed the spectrum of soils, water, pastures and forage, animal production and health, and economics of both systems. 

Read more about the trial.

Contact Prof Nicola Shadbolt

Farm management

Our research includes farmer decision-making in strategic and tactical management of finance, production, human resource management and marketing; farmer risk management practices; resilient farming systems design; high-performing farming systems; governance, succession planning and farm management tools; technology integration; and farm management consultancy.
Contact Warren Anderson or Dr David Gray

Agricultural extension and innovation systems

We research farmer innovation and learning, and how science, agricultural extension and consultancy can enhance on-farm and industry innovation.

Contact Janet Reid or Dr David Gray

Rural governance

Rural governance research critically analyses the policies and practices that shape the management of sustainable farming systems, including the role of central and local government, industry and broader society in farming and the agri-food sector.
 
Contact Janet Reid

Agribusiness

Our research focuses on structure, ownership and governance of agricultural cooperatives in New Zealand and internationally. We are investigating how business culture factors affect the responses of agri-food companies and industries to environmental sustainability.

Contact Dr Elena Garnevska or Prof Nicola Shadbolt or A/Prof Sarah McLaren

Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management

The Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management is a collaboration between Massey and Lincoln Universities, supported by Dairy NZ. It is dedicated to increasing farm business management capability.

Contact Prof Nicola Shadbolt

Rural sociology

Research in rural sociology includes social network analysis and agricultural science communication. A Living Lab project in conjunction with Palmerston North City Council and Massey’s School of People and Planning addresses concerns about the loss of productive land to lifestyle blocks.

Contact Dr Brennon Wood

Contact

agr@massey.ac.nz

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