DairyNZ ensures Taranaki has access to targeted and regionally relevant research by funding and supporting research led by Dairy Trust Taranaki (DTT).
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 leased a commercial farm and the 110-effective hectare Westpac Taranaki Agricultural Research Station (now DTT Gibson).
A further property owned by Fonterra has been leased by DTT (DTT Kavanagh), which is a 208 effective ha dairy farm surrounding the Fonterra Whareroa site in Hawera. In total the four farms operate over 408ha and milk 1240 cows.
The DTT ensures research in the region is co-ordinated. The different locations, climate and geography of the four farms 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 2019
Like it now does in other regions, DairyNZ funds DTT research priorities and assigns its best scientists to work with the trust to execute and publish research results. In that connection Dr Jane Kay fulfils the role of Taranaki regional scientist, and Jake Jarman has recently started with DairyNZ, as a Masters student, in conjunction with Massey University, analysing one of the farm systems projects.
Four farm-system projects are underway, with funding from the DairyNZ levy, DTT and support from other sponsors.
The projects fit under the theme of future farming for families and focus on three major issues relevant to Taranaki farmers. These are the role of autumn calving & winter milk production (especially in the coastal zone), the potential future after PKE – or at least within the new Fat Evaluation Index guidelines, and the use of stand-off facilities in high rainfall areas (e.g. Stratford).
These are important local issues and have a wider national application. DairyNZ has supported DTT to help ensure that these projects answer local questions, demonstrate important principles and contribute to the national pool of science knowledge.
Information on these projects and farm walk notes can be found here.
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 or on the website www.dairytrusttaranaki.co.nz