On-farm research and extension programmes have been an area of considerable development over the past few years.

This is a direct result of Taratahi taking our mandate through the Taratahi Act of Parliament to heart and working hard to make this a reality.

This area of operations is entrenched with models of partnership and collaboration with other like-minded organisations, without which this progress could not be achieved.

In-Calf Programme, Home Dairy Farm, Masterton

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Taratahi has been implementing the DairyNZ Incalf initiative for the last four years. This initiative aims to improve the reproductive performance in New Zealand dairy herds.

Taratahi has been acting as a ‘focus farm’ making information available and holding field days to increase local awareness and spur improvement in the reproductive performance of our herds.


Nuevo Technology Ltd Yard Clean & Effluent Run-Off Management System

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Taratahi is working with Nuevo Technology on a research and development programme.


The anticipated outcome of this programme will be the introduction of an innovative and scalable yard clean and effluent run-off management system for the New Zealand dairy industry.  On-farm trials will be carried out at our home dairy unit (Wairarapa).

The system will be fully automated and comprise of an electro-mechanical package that quickly and effectively purifies and recycles effluent-contaminated water on a continuous basis, separating the raw effluent.  It includes on-board monitoring and is coupled with a highly effective pad cleaning module that uses up to 90% less water than conventional means.


Cow Efficiency in Hill Country Breeding Cow Herds, Koromiko Farm and Tautane Station

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The aim is to improve winter and spring management of cows on hills to reduce environmental risk and maintain profitability.

After one year of weighing and condition scoring the cows at Koromiko we are starting to gather information that allows the prediction of the various indices that determine efficiency of production from beef breeding cows.

To be really useful three entire production cycles will give a data set that can be analysed statistically.

Students learning on Koromiko have been fully involved with all these processes and have gained valuable insight in to cow behaviour around calving, how to recognise calving issues, poor temperament and good temperament.  In addition to yarding, handling and observing, students are given the opportunity to use the Allflex stick reader and operate the XR3000 both while condition scoring and weighing and during tagging calves, providing valuable experience with technology which is part of the programme and is integral to the cattle industry.


Farm IQ, Mangarata Farm, Masterton

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Mangarata is one of the FarmIQ Farms showcasing new technology and hosting field days for participant farmers.  Work to implement EID began on Mangarata before it joined the FarmIQ programme.

Taratahi is keen to progress tracking and data collection across the herds and apply analysis to the farm’s stock management programme.  The following outcomes are sought as a result of FarmIQ data analysis:


Alliance Group Tailing Docking Trial

Image altTo be economically sustainable New Zealand lamb needs to be targeted at and sold to high-end consumers in international markets.  These consumers are increasingly concerned about the welfare of farmed animals, especially consumers in Europe and North America.

Currently there is a lack of reliable information addressing productive, economic and welfare effects of docking lamb tails at different lengths, or leaving them intact.  This Alliance Group project will investigate whether docking at different tail lengths affects economic returns to the farm and/or has any impact on the welfare of the lamb.


Hill Country Central Progeny Test Project, Koromiko - Ovita Consortium

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The central progeny test project was instigated to ask the following questions: "do high performance rams perform well in different environments?" and "do top performing rams on the flat still perform well on harder hill country?"

Taratahi’s Koromiko Farm in Wairarapa is one of five farms involved in this Ovita Consortium project.  The farm measure and record traits such as ewe scanning live weight and presence, number of lambs and estimated date of conception, ewe condition, lamb weaning weight and sex, ewe live weight at weaning and presence, DNA sample on lamb, date and mob of slaughter, yield grade and health status (e.g. pleurisy).

This year 810 ewes were selected for the programme on Koromiko, of which all but 80 were artificially inseminated.  The intention next year is to increase the ewe number to 1,000.

A large number of sheep and beef students have been involved throughout the different processes associated with the trial, including:

  • Ewe selection
  • Inserting cidrs
  • Harnessing and put out teaser rams
  • Drafting into sire groups
  • Assisting the vets and technicians with the AI process
  • Condition scoring and weighing
  • Collecting saliva swabs for the Carla test
  • Collecting TSU samples for DNA parentage

The Latest

Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to take over Telford campus of Taratahi

Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to take over Telford campus of Taratahi

Tuesday, 05 February 2019

Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to take over Telford campus of Taratahi

Information for Taratahi students, including Telford students

Information for Taratahi students, including Telford students

Friday, 11 January 2019

Taratahi Institute of Agriculture (Taratahi) went into interim liquidation at the end of 2018.

Coming Up: