Sunday, July 3, 2022

Future-proofed Southland conversion

Starting with a fresh canvas for a conversion five years ago has given a 209ha Southland dairy the advantage of adding quality infrastructure that will future-proof it for years to come

It's now for sale at a time when it is just reaching its potential, with 555 cows milked at the peak of the season for a target this year of 245,000kg milksolids (MS).

"It's a very sound, productive farm that will continue to improve," according to Southern Wide Real Estate agent Wayne Clarke.

"The capital spent has future-proofed it for years. It has quality infrastructure as well as the productivity of the land in an area without extreme wet or extreme dry."

The area is Rimu, a 10 minute drive east of Invercargill on flat contour and Mokotua silts. The average annual rainfall here is between 1100mm and 1200mm.

Experienced dairy farmers converted the farm; designing it for ease of management with wide, quality lanes that lead to a centrally-located dairy with all the mod cons. It's fitted with a 54-bail rotary DeLaval that is fully automated, and just one person is needed to milk the herd. As well as DeLaval computer drafting, it features a heat recovery system on the refrigeration unit and is set up with meal and molasses feed systems.

Nearby, a stand-off and calving pad with woodchip over gravel and drainage below gets the herd off the paddocks in wet weather, with effluent draining into a system that features two weeping walls with 90-day storage. From storage, it is taken underground by 90mm pipe to hydrants in the paddocks and distributed through K-line pods.

Cows are grazed out through winter at a nearby farm they can easily walk to and this arrangement can continue for a new owner.

They head back to the milking platform in time for the beginning of calving around August 5. Each year 150 tonne of meal is bought in as well as PKE to feed through the season, with 132 bales of hay and 80 bales of wholecrop also purchased last season. On top of this, around 200 bales of baleage are cut from surplus grass on the farm.

Two-thirds of the farm has been regrassed in the past six years and this, combined with a detailed fertiliser programme, has enabled production to steadily climb. In its first season it produced 200,481kg MS, climbing steadily to 242,483kg MS last season.

Water is sourced from two new bores that supply two troughs per paddock through a 40mm mainline. The farm has 40 main paddocks and a mix of mature and new shelter belts have been strategically planted.
As well as the dairy, the farm has a range of sheds to cater for implements, workshop, calves and hay. It has a three-bedroom brick and roughcast homestead and a Versatile three-bedroom home built for the conversion five years ago.

Sharemilkers have been contracted for the day-to-day management of the farm since the farm's conversion, so it has not yet milked cows for an owner-operator.

Location is a big advantage for the farm, pointed out Clarke, especially for families constantly on the road for the children's activities.

"It's very handy to family oriented things and it's very handy to rural services, so freight costs are low."

Offers are invited for the farm which may be purchased as a going concern. For further information contact Clarke on 03 218 2795 or 0274 325 768. The property can be viewed at  web ref SWI913.

More articles on this topic