Dairy cattle research

The New Zealand dairy industry contributes around 25% of NZ export earnings, and directly employs nearly 50,000 people. Massey’s expertise in dairy goes across our areas of speciality including animal and dairy production scientists, veterinarians and technicians. We provide expertise across a broad range of dairy system and dairy animal research projects.

Research expertise

Dairy cattle nutrition, growth, breeding and milk production

Our researchers have expertise in forage and grazing management including forage production, nutritive value and persistence. We are also working in the areas of genetics, cow feeding and nutrition including the impact of feeding on cow performance.

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Dairy cow health and disease management

Our expertise is in all areas of dairy cow health with a particular emphasis on control, treatment and management of lameness; detection, identification and treatment of mastitis (with emphasis on reducing antibiotic use), impact, control and management of facial eczema; diagnosis and treatment of micronutrient deficiency, and calf diseases (especially the impact of colostrum uptake).

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Dairy food technology

Massey scientists are examining the structure of dairy products with specific interests in cheese and casein. A research focus is fundamental studies on the internal structure of casein micelles in collaboration with industry and academic partners.

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Dairy reproduction

Expertise in the pharmacological control of the cow's oestrus cycle; the association between nutrition and reproduction and management and reproductive performance.

Milk quality and composition

A cross-disciplinary team of Massey scientists is researching milk quality, composition and health benefits for humans.

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Quality control in manufacturing

Our scientists are developing new methods to assess quality in manufacturing processes. We have particular expertise in applications in the dairy industry.

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Research projects

Research centres

AL Rae Centre for Genetics and Breeding

The Centre ensures sustained development and application of knowledge in quantitative genetics and breeding to enhance the profitability of New Zealand's primary industries.

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Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management

We are dedicated to research that increases the farm business management capability of academics, farmers and those who serve them. The insights gained from in-depth research of challenges, solutions and available tools enhance the understanding of farm business decisions by government, industry, rural professionals and farmers.

Contact Nicola Shadbolt

Dairy Research Centre

This Centre consists of scientists, technicians and veterinarians with expertise across a broad range of dairy system and dairy animal research projects. We operate a commercial Farm Services Clinic. We also work with some other milk-producing animals including sheep and goats.

Contact Danny Donaghy

Hopkirk Institute

The Hopkirk Institute is a joint institute – scientists are from both AgResearch and Massey University. It has the southern hemisphere's largest concentration of health sciences for pastoral-fed animals.

Scientists collaborate on researching solutions for the sustainable control of parasitic diseases, primarily in sheep and cattle including:

  • evaluating more effective vaccines to combat infectious disease, including tuberculosis, Johne's disease, mastitis and pneumonia
  • identifying and predicting food poisoning threats in New Zealand and devising strategies to minimise their prevalence and impact.

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Massey Agritech Partnership

The Partnership is focused on working with industry on research and development to provide relevant, leading-edge agricultural and horticultural technology. We have an active postgraduate student programme and provide site-specific consultancy.

Contact Andrew East

Services

Dairy 1 farm

Dairy 1 is managed as a profitable, low input, sustainable pasture-based dairy farm with a Once-a-Day (OAD) milking, spring calving system.

Research on the farm comes under the umbrella of 'Project Dairy 1' – research that focuses on the once-a-day seasonal supply low-input system in a sensitive nutrient zone.

Dairy 1 farm

Resources

Livestock production in New Zealand

The complete guide to the management of dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, deer, goats, pigs, poultry, horses and working dogs in New Zealand. Written mainly by experts from Massey University’s School of Veterinary Science, it is of value and interest to everyone from students to farmers, right across New Zealand’s agribusiness sector. Edited by Kevin Stafford.

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Sward stick

A printed 'yardstick', this tool was created to show the relationship between seasonality, the height and yield of herb pasture mixes in the field and whether stock should then be grazing, or not. The stick aims to assist farmers' understanding of the management of 'new' forage pasture types.

Contact Paul Kenyon

Accreditation and recognition

Animal expertise

Find out more about research, facilities, research degrees, services and resources to do with other production animal specialities at Massey University.

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