Sunday, July 3, 2022

Milk and enjoy the view

Cows are milked 12 months of the year on the rolling contour of a 250ha dairy farm bordering the Hauraki Plains that enjoys the best of both worlds, with sea views, a neighbouring golf course and featuring a 2ha lake that is leased out to Americans for duck shooting season.

A little over 20 years ago, the farm was one of the region's top bull units and then a Hong Kong businessman converted it to dairying, built a centrally-located dairy and planted alongside the waterways.

"He was very progressive with what is commonplace now," said Bayleys agent Karl Davis. "There's 20-year-old natives in some of the wetlands now."

Most of the farm's catchment flows into the lake which creates a picturesque centrepiece as well as providing plenty of bounty for the hunters who pay the lease to shoot there each year.

The farm is now owned by a partnership who employ a manager and Davis said it had yet to be farmed by an owner-operator. The manager estimated the farm had the potential to reach 200,000kg milksolids (MS) and Davis said 180,000kg MS was achievable in a good season.

It has produced 167,000kg MS in the past when it supplied Fonterra and is now supplying Open Country Dairy. It was also milking 530 cows but a change of management has cut this back to 400 this season with the same production results so far this season. The herd is made up of 200 Friesian cows and 200 crossbreds and Jerseys, and the drop in numbers meant there was "heaps of grass around". Any surplus is cut for baleage and in the past that has amounted to around 200 round bales.

The farm has two titles and lies just 10 minutes from Ngatea, with a terrain that includes 160ha of flat to easy rolling country, 50ha of medium hill and 30ha of unproductive land such as gullies, trees and the picturesque lake.

Milking year-round means the cows have a split calving between autumn and spring, with the rolling hills producing reasonable grass through winter.

"It's good winter country and the bulk of production is obtained by Christmas."

A crop of turnips is grown for summer production and Davis said the strong flow of water into the lake, including a year-round spring supply, created possibilities for irrigation in the future.

To help boost production, the farm buys in maize and a high-energy mix similar to palm kernel in cost and nutrition.

A feed pad sits beside the dairy to feed supplements to the herd, with both accessed from a central branch race system around the farm. The dairy and feed pad sit in the middle of the farm which is a good shape to split into the 82 paddocks.

The dairy itself is a 40-bail Ardco rotary with a 500-cow yard and there's a good range of support buildings over the farm.

Two three-bedroom weatherboard homes provide comfortable accommodation for owners and/or staff and the farm enjoys idyllic vistas, encompassing bush, lake and pine surrounds as well as views of the Hauraki Gulf and the Coromandel ranges.

The farm is on the market at $4,644,600 plus GST, if any. For further information contact Davis on 0508 838383 or 027 496 4633.

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