Lye Farm


1 min read

Farm focus Farm profile Main Functions

Lye Farm, commissioned in 2002, is a leading facility for udder health and indoor dairy nutrition studies. This 100ha farm has cutting-edge indoor dairy research amenities, with a focus on milk harvesting and intensive indoor research. It houses 300 milking cows, advanced dairy infrastructures like a 30-bail rotary dairy, and other special facilities for detailed milk and cow studies. Lye Farm also boasts bacteriological labs and spaces for detailed nutrition studies, shedding light on cow nutrition, milk features, and methane output. Besides research, the farm is a favoured venue for farmer events and extends its facilities for external research projects that uplift New Zealand's dairy industry.

Welcome to DairyNZ's Lye Farm. Home to world class udder health and intensive indoor nutrition research.

Farm Focus

Commissioned in 2002, Lye Farm is home to some of the most advanced indoor dairy research facilities in the southern hemisphere. Activities on this farm focuses on milk harvesting and intensive indoor research work.

Farm profile

Farm area 100ha effective
Milking cows 300 (herd size changes depending on scientific requirements)
Soil type and fertility Mainly Peaty Silt Loams
Paddocks 93 paddocks of 1 ha each
Dairy infrastructure 30-bail rotary dairy with:
• automatic cow ID, daily electronic milk weight recording and measured in-bail feeding 
• associated milking annex with:
• three bail tandem dairy (Used for udder health and milking technology studies)
• single sided 8 bail herringbone dairy (Used for intensive milk measuring studies) 

These facilities allows more intensive milk sampling and milking machine cow interaction studies to be undertaken, including udder health.

Animal barns: Used for indoor feeding trials
• Supplementary feeding barn 
• Long-term free stalls for housing cows over long periods
• Intensive feeding barn incorporating electronic gates at each feeding bail to allow individual intake measurement
• Metabolism stalls with 16 bails for intensive input-output studies and a roofed feeding pad

The facilities are used for intensive feeding and nutritional studies providing information on:
• cow nutrition 
• reproduction and milk characteristics
• methane output

• Bacteriological and field laboratories


Main Functions


At Lye Farm, modern facilities make it possible for DairyNZ scientists to focus research on milk harvesting and intensive indoor work.

State of the art rotary and herringbone dairy facilities are used for:

  • Udder health and milking technology studies
  • Intensive milk measuring studies

Pristine indoor barn facilities are used for intensive feeding and nutritional studies providing information on:

  • cow nutrition
  • production and milk characteristics
  • methane output

Event venue

Undercover facilities make Lye Farm a popular venue for field days and various other farmer events.

Scott Farm and Lye Farm often form part of various dairying events and touring programmes showcasing the New Zealand dairying industry.

Need a Research Venue

Developed for the advancement of the pastoral based New Zealand dairy industry, we also offer the use of this facility to other research organisations for research projects that will benefit our dairy farmers.

Last updated: Aug 2023

Related content

DairyNZ Research Farms


3 min read

Plantain Partner Farms


2 min read

Lincoln Uni Dairy Farm


1 min read

Southern Dairy Hub


5 min read

Scott Farm


4 min read