After humble beginnings we moved our processing operations to a purpose built facility located on Waipuna Research Farm, Irwell, in November 1998.

The building is divided into 3 separate areas designated seed drying, seed processing and packing/inspection/dispatch. Having worked for many years in plant variety purification and maintenance we pay particular attention to avoiding contamination between seed lines.

The building has reticulated compressed air enabling all equipment and work areas to be quickly and thoroughly cleaned.


Southern Seed Technology has at its disposal a full range of equipment to service the requirements of our extensive nursery operation.

Having worked in the nursery business for many years, select machines are used that provide optimum levels of purity and efficiency.

Plot seeders and combine harvesters from Wintersteiger and Hege Seed cleaners from Rationale Kornservice, Denmark


  • A Clipper from the USA

  • Threshers are from Kurt Pelz, Germany and Almaco in the USA

  • Southern Seed Technology also have access to other specialist machines such as single ear threshers, large multi-row seeders, combines, and various seed cleaners.

Ample Drying Capacity

Due to the rapid turn around of material/seed and the variablity in crop maturity we find we have to dry pretty much everything.

Southern Seed Technology has a purpose built drying shed with 3 separate forced air drying units, two with heat, and the shed has a large dehumidifier connected to an electronically controlled venting system.

We have two dehumidifying rooms each with 12 m3 of drying space which are used predominantly for drying heads/ears.

There is also a back up drier in the event of an extremely wet harvest season.

Irrigation Available

The annual rainfall is approximately 700mm and is spread quite evenly throughout the year. Irrigation is readily available on all of our nursery blocks and it is common for us irrigate three times a season.

High Yields and Fertile Soils

The majority of land used by Southern Seed Technology is located on Waipuna Research Farm, Irwell, the property of Murray and Marilyn Stephens. The 300Ha farm is a model cropping operation, consistently producing a high yield and quality crops.

Milling wheat, feed barley, process peas and beans, white clover and ryegrass are the predominant arable crops grown, along with an extensive area of black currants. The balance of the land is used to produce pasture for in-situ use and cut and carry animal feed.

Ideal Cropping Rotations

All land used follows a cropping rotation that allows for good soil fertility, structure and hygiene that ensure all the requirements for seed certification are met.

The cereal nursery blocks on Waipuna Research Farm generally follow a rotation of process peas, grass seed, clover seed, and process beans or a rotation of grass seed and clover seed.

Notable Achievements

New Zealand record yield processing pea crop grown for Heinz-Wattie Ltd.

Rhone Poulenc award for the highest yielding perennial rye grass crop in New Zealand.

Soil types we work with are predominantly sandy loams on clay loams which produce high yielding, excellent quality crops.

The soils are tested regularly for pH and NPKS status. Normally a pre plant NPKS fertiliser is applied followed by split rates of nitrogen when and where appropriate during the growing season.