Optimisation of solar power into irrigation and/or stream augmentation systems
Project start: 20 October 2020
Project completed: 1 November 2022
MPI funding: $58,720
Industry funding: $81,221
Industry partner: Eiffelton Community Group Irrigation Scheme Inc
This project set out to demonstrate the benefits of a grid-tied solar array system for augmentation of spring-fed streams. Solar arrays are a good source of renewable energy for irrigation and many environmental projects, because of their correlation between solar radiance and evapotranspiration. The research found that installation can provide gross return on capital of 8.7% - 11.7% per annum, with payback periods of 8.5 - 11.6 years.
Eiffelton TSA Business Case Article [PDF, 285 KB]
Eiffelton Performance Report III [PDF, 750 KB]
Early life application of methane inhibitor BOVAER 10 in dairy calves
Project start: 18 May 2021
Project completed: 30 August 2022
MPI funding: $182,659
Industry funding: $1,079,341
Industry partner: DSM New Zealand Ltd
This trial set out to determine the effects of feeding BOVAER to calves. Calves in the study received a BOVAER® 10 feed supplement in their first 100 days to see if it reduced methane emissions over their lifetime. A strong methane reduction effect (51%-59%) was measured while BOVAER® 10 was fed to the calves during the first 14 weeks of life, with no impact on calf liveweight or health. Animal performance was continually monitored for the nine months post supplementation, and no effects on health or performance were observed. There were several challenges with methane measurements during this period, and a significant (>10%) and lasting methane reduction was not observed. The researchers halted the study for three main reasons. Firstly, the 10% methane reduction threshold (9 months after the last day of supplementation) was not reached at the go/no go decision point. Secondly, the study had not been designed to capture methane reductions below the 10% threshold. Also, the integrity of the study was compromised due to the challenges with methane measurement. The current form of BOVAER benefits farms with supplemental feed. Royal DSM is researching and developing a slow-release form. This is likely to be more suitable for New Zealand pasture systems that don’t supplement feed as much.
Early life application of methane inhibitor BOVAER 10 in dairy calves - Public summary of trial results [PDF, 255 KB]
Vatman Pro / Auto
Project start: 1 March 2021
Project completed: 25 May 2022
MPI funding: $205,294
Industry funding: $307,942
Industry partner: Dairy Technology Services Ltd
This project sought to improve productivity and worker safety on farm while reducing waste and costs. It created a software dashboard and diagnostic tools which have progressed through viability testing to commercialisation. The ‘Silo-Man’, which measures grain levels, was designed in response to Worksafe’s guidance that, where possible, workers should not climb or enter silos. The ‘Vat-Man Auto’ offers refrigeration integration and temperature control, while hot water clean-in-place (CIP) systems are being further developed for next generation milk vat monitoring. This CIP control ensures compliance with regulations while not wasting energy by heating beyond the required temperature.
GoDairy campaign – providing the inspiration and opportunity to change careers
Project start: 1 July 2020
Project completed: 24 May 2022
MPI funding: $820,000
Industry funding: $490,000
Industry partner: DairyNZ
This project sought to attract New Zealand workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic into the dairy sector, through a marketing and communications campaign and newly developed three-week courses. The courses involved one week of online training and two weeks of practical training, delivered at sites around New Zealand. As the project progressed it became apparent the anticipated impacts of COVID-19 on employment were less than forecast. The project was reviewed and revised milestones were agreed between MPI and Dairy NZ at the end of 2021. Online training was reduced and the project was re-positioned to support both dairy sector employers and potential new employees. This included initiatives such as Good Boss and the Go Dairy marketing campaign.
New dairy genetics information system
Project start: 21 February 2020
Project completed: 2 August 2021
MPI funding: $792,000
Industry funding: $255,746
Industry partner: NZ Dairy Cattle Breed Societies
This project developed a new information system to collect data on the physical and behavioural traits of dairy cows, to help evaluate the performance of New Zealand’s top breeding bulls. The system has been integrated with the Dairy Industry Good
Animal Database, managed by DairyNZ subsidiary New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited.
Media release: New system to help evaluate performance of New Zealand's dairy genetics
A novel approach to probiotics for production animals
Project start: 23 October 2019
Project completed: 5 October 2020
MPI funding: $24,000
Industry funding: $41,900
Industry partner: BioBrew
BioBrew aimed to demonstrate the efficacy of probiotics for lambing to provide farmers with a means to reduce the use of anthelmintics (antiparasitic drugs), while maintaining production and profitability.