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, John Bruce Pye Farm (JB Pye Farm) and the Greendale School site comprise 466 hectares of beef cattle fattening enterprises. JB Pye Farm is used for teaching and research as a demonstration mixed enterprise farm.
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 (named after a Scottish village by its original owner), Uni park and Moffitt's/Cannons 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 Mayfarm 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 Mayfarm 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 School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Sydney Institute of Agriculture (SIA) use the Grains Research Centre for large-scale field trials, plant breeding, crop genetics, agronomy, farming systems, digital agriculture, weeds, and soil 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. This research collaboration has been in place for 60 years. The Centre is a hub for grains research in north western NSW and our partnerships ensure that the knowledge, technology and genetic materials developed nationally and globally are accessed to the benefit of the Australian agriculture sector.
The University, Wheat Research Foundation and GRDC have made significant commitments to the Narrabri site in recent years, including the development of the Managed Environment Facility, state of the art glasshouses, bird and bee proof enclosures, regional phenotyping capacity, archive seed store and improved irrigation infrastructure.
Each year about 40,000 research plots are planted in collaboration with 20 public and private organisations.
Llara/Campey farm is part of our Narrabri Farms network. It is a large commercial research farm which is 1800 ha comprising of 60% cropping, 35% grazing and 5% native vegetation forest. The main crops grown are wheat, faba beans, chickpeas, canola, sorghum and dryland cotton. The farm also runs beef cattle.
The Llara farm has significant environmental assets which are available for teaching and research related to multifunctional landscapes comprised of integrated agricultural and natural environments working together to provide vital ecosystem services that sustain life.
Campey farm has been set up for irrigation and enables small plot research for the IA Watson Grains Research centre and other industry stakeholders.
On Llara the Sydney Institute of Agriculture has set up its DigiFarm project with funding support from the Australian Government’s Smarter Farming Partnerships Landcare program 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, livestock systems. A new project has also started on natural sequence farming and water management.
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.