Kimihia Research Centre

At the cutting edge of forage and turf innovations

Kimihia (meaning to seek, search) Research Centre is the research headquarters for PGG Wrightson Seeds.

Established in 1975, the 250 hectare site is close to Lincoln University and the innovation precinct of Crown Research Institutes such as AgResearch and Plant & Food Research.

The soil is Templeton Silt Loam, representative of the medium-good soils of the district. The research centre is well located for research in temperate, maritime climate crops.

Kimihia primarily operates breeding programmes in crops such as forage grasses, clovers, pasture herbs, turf grasses, grain and forage brassicas. Early generation seed production of grasses and brassicas are conducted in strict isolation regimes by a dedicated group, and a specialised seed cleaning plant operates on-station. Our ISTA-accredited seed laboratory supports both cereal and forage breeding systems A temperature and humidity regulated coolstore maintains genebanks and nucleus seed stocks on site.

A forage evaluation group runs series of on- and off-station trials to support these programmes. A wide range of trial sites are located throughout NZ to address the range of climate and pastoral systems in which our products must deliver.  This is also supported by development agronomists who provide trial and technical support to retail brands. Turf grass trials are established at Kimihia to support breeding and turf agronomy. 

Kimihia is also the base for animal nutrition and farm systems work, with measurement of sheep performance on a range of pastoral systems, species, and novel endophytes at this site. The incorporation of livestock into the breeding and selection process is a characteristic of PGG Wrightson Seeds. As well as the sheep work at Kimihia, we also run a cattle unit near Oxford, Canterbury.

The seed production agronomy group provide technical support for proprietary cultivar production, and for PGG Wrightson Seeds’ international multiplication and seed trading businesses. The bulk of trials are conducted in the wider Canterbury area; on-station we have replicated row trials that evaluate growth patterns, key development stages, disease resistance and seed yield potential from ryegrass breeding programmes and from cultivars undergoing multiplication for international clients.