Our farms are essential in supporting the present core teaching and research activities of the School of Veterinary Science, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Sydney Institute of Agriculture.
They are vital to securing new initiatives arising from government and industry priorities in education, bioscience and food chain research occasioned by climate change, peak oil, urbanisation, food and water security.
McGarvie Smith Farm / Fleurs Farms comprise 344 hectares of beef cattle fattening enterprises, with limited use by teaching and research staff.
Coates Park, Wolverton Farm, J B Pye Farms and the Greendale School site comprise 466 hectares of beef cattle fattening enterprises. John Bruce Pye Farm is used for teaching and research as a demonstration mixed enterprise farm.
Plant Breeding Institute, Horse Unit and Animal Reproduction, Lansdowne and Lansdowne turf.
Our vision is to provide world class hands-on tuition in basic horse handling, topographical anatomy and day-one graduate veterinary clinical skills, in a self-sufficient and sustainable manner, while ensuring best-practice animal welfare.
The Horse Unit is situated on the river flats on the Cobbitty side of the Nepean River. There are currently 55 horses of mixed breeds and ages that reside on the property permanently. The farm operations are geared around being self-sufficient and sustainable, within the constraints of availability of suitable land.
The Animal Reproduction Unit is principally used to support undergraduate teaching in general sheep handling, husbandry and health as well as basic and applied aspects of reproduction and genology. It supports research programs in sheep.
Research performed at the Sheep Unit has resulted in major scientific and practical outcomes including invention of oestrus synchronisation, the first successful cryopreservation of ram semen, artificial insemination of sheep and the first production of presexed lambs.
This flat site is located on the Nepean River and is mostly cleared. This site remains essential to guarantee fodder production for dairy all year round. We hold a license which permits water for irrigation to be pumped from the river and we currently run a lateral move irrigator and pivot irrigator on the site.
Corstorphine Farm, Uni park and Moffat/Cannons (named after a Scottish village by its original owner) lies on the banks of the Nepean River west of the historic village of Cobbitty. The farm supports 350 cows producing high quality milk for the Sydney market. The deep alluvial soils are ideal for growing lush pastures required for milk production. The dairy is primarily used for research and teaching, and generates all of its own operating expenses by operating on a commercial-like basis.
Mayfarm is a property that consists of 121 hectares of slightly undulating dryland grazing and alluvial creek flats. Mayfarm is principally used to support teaching (bovine and porcine) and maintain the dry herd from the Corstorphine dairy operation.
The May Farm Porcine (pig) Unit at Camden is used solely for teaching and research purposes. The space is a “farrow-to-finish” pig unit, managed by Greg Macnamara along commercial industry lines. The pig unit is located within the University’s May Farm site. Pigs are bred, reared and grown to market weight at the unit.
Mt Hunter consists of two properties and is located on Mayfarm road as well and down the road from the Mayfarm site. This site was previously used for sheep research and is now used by the dairy for their younger heifers.
The E J Holtsbaum Agricultural Research Institute (also known as Nowley Farm) is a 2,083 hectare property combining cereal grain production and a cattle breeding and fattening enterprise. The property was gifted to the University by E. J. (Ted) Holtsbaum.
Nowley is located in the Liverpool plains area of NSW and is used for both animal (1,083 ha pastures) and plant science (1000 ha cropping) on a large scale. The dryland cropping area is one of the largest available to the University.
Professor Alex McBratney’s team of researchers lead by Associate Professor Brett Whelan have been conducting research in precision agriculture management with new equipment to be located at Nowley.
Professor McBratney’s soil science group have made comprehensive soil maps of Nowley Farm and this information will used in conjunction with the precision agriculture equipment to provide students with a platform for innovative farming systems research.
The Faculty of Science including the Sydney Institute of Agriculture use the Grains Research Centre for large-scale field trials, farming, breeding, systems research, and for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
The northern arm of the Plant Breeding Institute, the IA Watson Grains Research Centre, is located at Narrabri and conducts grains research by invitation of the governing board of trustees of the NSW Wheat Research Foundation.
The GRDC investment in irrigation infrastructure in the last year at Narrabri has ensured that University researchers and outside stakeholders working with the University have access to drought-proof field trial sites. This is important to researchers who have to meet milestones in their projects and it lessens the risks they face with varying weather conditions. Our reputation to deliver the best field sites in Northwest NSW has encouraged all private wheat breeding companies to use the Narrabri site as a key component of their national breeding programs.
In addition to irrigated sites, PBI has developed specialised areas at Narrabri for soil-borne diseases, or soil-based agronomy research. These have verified crown rot or nematode disease levels and are managed accordingly to maintain these levels.
In addition, areas have been developed with long-term no/minimum tillage and full tillage, and different crop rotations. These are valuable sites for research of the full range of crop and soil interactions, and for breeding. These areas are planned in such a way that these diseases, or the rotations, do not affect the management of, or the integrity of the core areas of the farms.
Llara/Campey is part of our Narrabri Farms network and has two commercial enterprises for cropping (over 1000 ha) and beef cattle (1000 ha) on its land. A new area of land has also been set up for irrigated research trials.
LLara/Campey is divided into three main areas. LLara is where large-scale innovation farming in animal production and crop production is conducted. Campey 1 to 5 is where irrigated crop research trials have been set up and Campey 6 to 9 is where dryland research trials can be conducted.
The Sydney Institute of Agriculture (SIA) DigiFarm Hub project in Narrabri received funding to develop its education platform for stakeholders including farmers, agribusiness, and schools to experience the latest ag-innovation thinking relating to soil health, robotics and digital agriculture, cropping and livestock systems.
Arthursleigh (7900 ha) is located near Goulburn. The property was bequeathed to the University in July 1979 from the estate of the late Eric Thomas Wallis Holt, AFC. The farm is operated commercially, and used for teaching and research in pasture agronomy and animal science. It is a valuable teaching resource for the University as it allows access to wildlife areas and provides an ideal venue for field trips.