Massey University says a revolution in farming could be around the corner, with electronically guided cows being robotically milked on fenceless dairy farms.
Professor Richard Archer, who heads the Food, Nutrition and Human Health Institute, has outlined the concept of fenceless farming in a new publication, Future Food Farming.
He envisages each cow wearing an electronic device, linked to a central computer, that would control their grazing movements and milking times.
It would allow cows to be managed in smaller groups rather than a single big mob and would also cut labour costs.
Professor Archer also sees economic and environmental benefits in fenceless farming.
He says the radio and battery technology is already available and a demonstration farm to test the concept could be developed in a few years.
Professor Archer says a demonstration farm to test the fenceless farming concept could be developed in a few years, but there's currently proposal in the pipeline or funding to do this.