Next Farm System Trial: Off Paddock Infrastructure v paddock-based wintering, and lower nutrient losses

Comparing relative farm performance including,
Profit, Animals and Environmental measures
when farms have different wintering, or different
pasture nitrogen application rates




Key person
Dawn Dalley / Pierre Beaks


A plan to build a new wintering infrastructure at the Southern Dairy Hub hasn’t received DairyNZ funding support to progress at this time

 The design of a fully covered structure to trial different wintering surfaces was enhanced from the original concept, with input from southern farmers. This changed design, alongside construction cost increases, meant the infrastructure build cost was significantly higher than the amount the Ministry for Primary Industries and DairyNZ agreed to as funders in 2021. 

Research undertaken throughout the project has helped improve DairyNZ’s understanding of the performance and practicality of different wintering surface options. It has also provided valuable insights into best practice wintering infrastructure design and build processes.

A summary of these learnings will be prepared, to guide farmers on key factors to consider when looking at constructing different wintering surface and infrastructure options. 

DairyNZ researchers continue to work with the SDH and project funders to explore opportunities for continued wintering research that build on the knowledge gained from research to date.

Project objectives

  • Understand the impact of winter crop choice on environmental loss risk, animal performance and farm profitability.

  • Investigate the impact of nitrogen inputs on environmental outcomes, including GHG, animal performance, people and farm profitability.

  • Reducing nitrate leaching by 30%.

Find out more about this project at

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