One of the key objectives of the Dairy Futures:Living Lab is to provide a platform for research and industry engagement to work together to solve the challenges facing agriculture.  As a university farm we aim to encourage, engage and enable under graduate and post graduate students in various aspects of research.  

Some of the research will be short term component studies within the wider Dairy Futures:Living Lab farmlets while other projects will run in parallel to the farmlet.  The Living Lab initiative will support research in under graduate courses (for example PLSC321 and ANSC 312), Honours projects, Masters and PhD's.  


Research projects

Fertiliser study

Regulation of N fertiliser use to 190 kg N/ha will have a considerable impact on feed supply for many farmers.  The market place promotes a number of additives which are stated to improve pasture response to N fertiliser.  In this study we will compare a range of additives and fertiliser products on pasture production in a small plot trials.  These trials will be conducted by students, both undergraduate and post graduate including Honours projects.  See our publications and reports pages below for updates on results.

Calf study

There is evidence from overseas research showing that calves with high pre-weaning growth rates have improved milk yield compared with calves of lower pre-weaning growth rate.  Though most of the literature arises from total or partial mixed ration systems overseas which can differ from our pastoral reared and seasonal supply system.  This research, which is sponsored by Fonterra, will compare the effect of feeding calves at 10% (control, artificially reared), 20% (high allowance, artificially reared) or ad lib (suckling, natural rearing) on pre and post weaning growth rate and subsequent milk yield.

Biowaste study

This research will collaborate such as the University of Canterbury and Manaaki Whenua to investigate opportunities to reduce biowaste and create more biocircular economy.  New Zealand's food system is estimated to produce over 1 million tonnes of waste, much of it requiring expensive waste disposal.  In this research we will collaborate with stakeholders and end-users to explore opportunities for biowaste transformation within the dairy industry.

Publications and reports


Farmsource webinar: Artificial Rearing or Suckling? Considerations of Pre weaning Feeding Regime in Pastoral Dairy Systems

Dairy Exporter 2023: Applying science to suckling

Green to Gold 2023 issue 222 Value of Chicory

Chikazhe et al. Stacking nitrogen leaching mitigations in a Canterbury dairy system whilst minimising profitability losses