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Research policy
Research programme
Monitor farms
FITT programme
Sheep production specialists
In The Paddock


Meat & Wool Innovation Limited (MWI) aims to help farmers increase their productivity by up to 4 per cent a year.

This may involve:

  • Reducing off-farm or on-farm costs
  • Increasing per head production of meat and wool
  • Increasing the marketability of meat and wool

In the last 10 years, farmers — with help from WoolPro and Meat New Zealand — have dramatically increased lamb productivity and are now reaping the rewards. However, ongoing productivity increases are needed to keep farm incomes ahead of rising costs and the long-run decline in commodity prices.

To this end, half of Meat & Wool Innovation's annual budget is used to fund research into innovative technologies and management systems.

Research policy

MWI has strategic alliances with key research providers like AgResearch, WRONZ, Massey and Lincoln. We invest $2 million a year in about 30 research and development projects — most of which are co-funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and other agencies. Research focus areas are:

  • Environmental sustainability
  • High performance sheep farming systems
  • Wool quality and market access
  • Animal health and welfare
  • Product innovation

Research programme

Details of the projects MWI funds are included in the Research and Development Directory.

We fund monitor farms as a practical means of enhancing the business strength of the New Zealand pastoral industry.

The Farmer Initiated Technology and Transfer Programme (FITT) provides financial support to groups of sheep and beef cattle farmers to trial new technical developments or farming systems. A full list of all FITT projects is available, along with reports from nearly all the completed projects.

In the National PasturePlan pasture growth monitoring programme, 40 farmers monitor pasture growth and send samples to AgResearch each fortnight for analysis. The aim is to make farmers more aware of the benefits of monitoring pasture growth.


Since 1990, MWI, and its parent bodies WoolPro and Meat New Zealand before it, has established several innovative methods of communicating improved technology to sheep farmers.

  • The Sheep Council — a forum which provides us with essential guidance and feedback from leading farmers
  • Monitor farms programme
  • FITT projects
  • Meat & Wool Innovation magazine
  • Helpdesk — a newsletter for private extension specialists
  • More Profit from Sheep and Beef videos
  • In the Paddock — see below
  • Seminars and field days
  • Media articles, releases and programmes

Increasingly we are integrating research and extension — providing co-ordinated packages of information about the best of new and existing technology to lecturers, teachers, trainers, private extension specialists, as well as directly to farmers themselves.

Sheep and beef production specialists

MWI has seven sheep and beef production specialists, located from Hamilton to Gore. They co-ordinate research and extension activities in their regions, making sure information goes out through professionals and farmer networks. Their contact details are available here.


The following booklets are available from MWI, free of charge to meat and wool levy payers:

400-Plus – A Guide to Improved Lamb Growth — Published by the Sheep Council, A5, 160 pages

A Guide to Genetic Improvement in Sheep — Published by WoolPro, Meat New Zealand and Sheep Improvement Limited, A5, 80 pages

A Guide to Improved Lambing Percentage — Published WoolPro and Meat New Zealand, A5, 128 pages

In The Paddock

In The Paddock is a monthly column that gives seasonal sheep and beef management tips. It is emailed each month to growers who have provided their email address to MWI. Email us if you want to go on the emailing list


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