No. 1 Dairy Farm, NZ

No. 1 Dairy Farm, Massey University

No.1 Dairy Farm occupies land purchased from the Batchelar Estate for the establishment of Massey Agricultural College in 1926. A diary herd was established in 1929 and is the basis of the present No. 1 Dairy Farm. The farm has changed over the years with the better Karapoti Brown Loam soils annexed by other organisations. Consequently, No.1 Dairy Farm now utilises the lighter river accretion soils adjacent to the Manawatu River. The farm has produced winter milk for over 40 years. In February 2004, almost 90 per cent of the farm was inundated by floodwaters leaving significant silt deposits after recession.

Massey University

Institutional Website

Contact: Professor Nicolás López-Villalobos


No1 Dairy Cows2 wideNo 1 Dairy Farm is located between the Massey University campus and the Manawatu River, encompassing 142.7 hectares (119.7ha effective) of free-draining recent alluvial soils.

This farm produces milk with a spring calving herd comprising 75 Friesian, 56 Jersey and 119 Friesian x Jersey crossbred cows under once a day milking during the entire season, all selected using a once-a-day selection index. The cows are milked through a 24 a-side herringbone shed equipped with the Westfalia Metatron® system. A concrete feed-pad with 300 cow capacity is located close to the shed to increase supplement utilisation. The herd changed from twice a day to once a day milking in the season 2013.

Approximately 90 per cent of the farm was inundated during the February 2004 floods, resulting in significant silt deposits after flood water receded; impacts of this event on factors such as regrassing policy are still being felt.

No1 Dairy Cows1 sFarm Objectives

  • To use a high performance dairy production system based on a spring calving herd milked once a day during the entire lactation.
  • To provide a teaching resource for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and be involved in research and extension of 12 month pastoral dairy production systems.
  • To provide a link between the University, Agribusiness and Community.

No1 Dairy AerialSustainability Objectives

  1. To have a profitable farm business
  2. To manage soils for the future with less dependence on fertilisers
  3. To reduce energy consumption
  4. To better water management and reduce pollutant losses
  5. To have sustainable people management practices
  6. To increase the biodiversity on the farm
  7. To develop long-term business communication strategies
  8. To lower the carbon footprint of milk production
  9. To improve dairy cow welfare, longevity, fertility and animal health

Massey Cow