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Research on Massey Farms

Research on Massey Farms is examining a broad range of areas such as nutrition, productivity and the impact of farming practices on the environment. Research is often undertaken in conjunction with industry bodies and across multiple farms, taking advantage of the unique topography of each. For instance Tuapaka is useful for hill-country related research and Riverside (in the Wairarapa region) gives scientists a testing ground for a drier climate.

Research on our farms focuses on the following types of animals and issues.

Areas of research


How feed requirements are affected by grazing in the hill country

Beef cows were monitored over two consecutive winters to get baseline measures for use of paddocks.

Cow performance across their lifetime

This long-term project is reviewing the size and weight of cows on a typical hill country farm and measuring their performance across their lifetime.

Lifetime efficiency of beef cows

This project on Riverside and Tuapaka farms is evaluating genetic quality of  meat for the beef market.

More on beef research


Milking dairy cows once a day

This research on Dairy 1 is looking at productivity and reproductive performance and the effect of a once-a-day Selection Index on three groups of dairy cows.

Pastoral 21

Massey University is contributing to the Pastoral 21 project by working on the development of a practical housing system for dairy farm cows.

Measuring the environmental footprint of milk

Project Dairy 1 is using a life cycle assessment methodology to measure the environmental footprint of milk produced at the farm.

More dairy research


Ewe lamb growth post-weaning

This two-year research study at Riverside Farm looked at how herbage fed to ewe lambs can have a positive impact on liveweight of subsequent generations.

Grazing alternative herbages in lactation

Examining how pasture mix changes during lactation may increase liveweight of ewe lambs

Maximising multiple ewe-bearing performance

These studies are identifying feeding regimens for multiple-bearing (twin- and triplet-bearing) ewes in both pregnancy and lactation to maximise outcomes for the ewe and her lambs.

More on sheep research


Leptospirosis in deer

Three projects have investigated different aspects of leptospirosis in relation to deer, including epidemiology and control in farmed deer herds.

Fetal wastage

Investigating the prevalence and incidence of abortion in deer herds and identification of potential infectious and non-infectious causes.

Deer welfare

An evaluation of the efficacy of analgesia or the pedicle and antler. Also work investigating death of stags under xylazine sedation.

More on deer research


Monitoring stream sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations

The project is monitoring nutrient and sediment concentrations in a hill country stream at Tuapaka and identifying practices which increase losses.

Measuring the environmental footprint of milk

Project Dairy 1 researchers are using a life cycle assessment methodology to measure the environmental footprint of milk produced on farm.

Nitrogen in the subsurface environment

This research is developing methods and procedures to assess and characterise the transport and transformation of nitrate-nitrogen in the subsurface environment.