It's flat to gently rolling topography and free-draining volcanic ash soil is typical of much of the dairying land in Taranaki. However at 310m asl altitude the climate is wetter (2050mm average annual rainfall) and cooler than the Taranaki average.
The farm, which is an incorporated society, was purchased in 1917 to establish and operate a model dairy farm to develop and promote improved farming methods. The general farm policy and governance is by a committee of local farmers and agricultural consultants. A farm manager is employed for operations, along with local farm management consultant Graeme Pitman as consultant and supervisor.
The farm is financially independent with all operating costs being met entirely from farm income, net profits and some sponsorship. Farmlet trials are usually carried out on the farm, along with occasional smaller trials. The farm is also used regularly for training and education purposes by various groups, including Taratahi, which has a training course based on the farm.
For more information on the Stratford Demonstration Farm, download the Stratford Demonstration Farm booklet
|Farm area||44ha owned
13ha leased off Stratford High School
52ha effective area
162 to 166 Jersey cows milked mid-season
||Stratford sandy loam
Free draining volcanic ash
||20 bail herringbone dairy
46 paddocks (1.1ha average)
|Pasture growth||12,500kg DM/ha standard pasture growth
14,000kg DM/ha with 150kg N/ha fertiliser
New pasture farmlet trial
||To trial and demonstrate the use of new pasture cultivars in improving dairy farm production and profit in Central Taranaki.|
The farm is split into two 25.5ha farmlets with a target of 3.2 jersey cows/ha milked for a comparative stocking rate of 85kg lwt/tonne DM.
||The trial has a MAF Sustainable farming fund grant, plus pasture seed is supplied by Agricom, Agriseeds and Wrightson seeds.|
To find out more about this trial, you can also view the documents below: