What is the Southern Dairy Hub?
Located close to Invercargill, Southland, the Southern Dairy Hub opened in July 2017 and is 349-hectare facility jointly invested in by southern dairy farmers, AgResearch and DairyNZ.
It operates as a working dairy farm as well as a site for important research to support the local dairy industry. Research at the site focuses on comparisons between farm systems that include different forages and supplementary feed and work around environmental performance.
With four separate farmlets of about 200 cows each being established at the hub to allow direct research comparisons, the collaborative research team is undertaking trials that contrast the performance of different crops, feeding approaches and systems with different levels of fertiliser inputs. The monitoring at the site focuses on the impacts on productivity and profitability and losses of nitrate to water.
Partners at the hub work together on research, and with external partners. An important focus is working with Environment Southland on the monitoring and design of the farming systems to help inform wider policy discussions.