Taranaki has long been a center for dairy science with research and demonstration farms in Stratford, Hawera and Waimate West.
DairyNZ will continue to fund and be involved in research in the region but instead of managing this directly will work with Dairy Trust Taranaki (DTT) to manage the research process from planning through to implementation.
About Dairy Trust Taranaki
DTT was established in late 2016 to oversee dairy industry research in the region and brings together three existing entities – the incorporated society which operated the Stratford Demonstration Farm; the trust which operated the Waimate West Demonstration Farm; and the Taranaki Agricultural Research Trust which leases a commercial farm and the 110 effective hectare Westpac Taranaki Agricultural Research Station. In total the four farms will operate over 408ha and milk 1240 cows.
The DTT will ensure research in the region is co-ordinated. The different locations, climate and geography of the four farms will allow comparative trials to be undertaken.
The Trust is made up of local dairy farmers, rural professionals and representatives from DairyNZ, Fonterra and local and regional councils.
Research projects underway in 2017/18
Like it now does in other regions, DairyNZ will fund DTT research priorities and assign its best scientists to work with the trust to execute and publish research results. In that connection Dr John Roche will fulfil the role of Taranaki regional scientist.
Work on two DairyNZ-funded projects has already started.
DTT has worked with farmers to identify two major issues relevant to Taranaki farmers that DairyNZ will support. These are the role of winter milk production (especially in the coastal zone) and a potential future after PKE – or at least within the new Fat Evaluation Index guidelines.
These are important local issues and also have a wider national importance. And DairyNZ has engaged with DTT to help ensure that these projects answer local questions, demonstrate important principles and also contribute to the national pool of science knowledge.
Updates on these projects will be provided here and in local enewsletters.
You can also view the farm’s data, including pasture growth rates, rainfall, soil temperature, milk production and body condition scores, at dairynz.co.nz/farmwatch.