More ac­tion in ru­ral prop­erty mar­ket

Matamata Chronicle - - Property - DAIRY PROP­ER­TIES

A robotic dairy farm on the out­skirts of Hamil­ton de­vel­oped three years ago will be sold by auc­tion next month.

The prop­erty is con­sid­ered to be one of New Zealand’s most high-tech farms. It is a 72.7ha prop­erty, a dairy farm with robotic milk­ing plants and an ex­ten­sive self-feed­ing barn at Puke­taha, to the east of the city.

The op­er­a­tion has au­to­matic draft­ing gates that al­low unim­peded cow move­ment to and from the shed 24 hours a day. The farm has a state-of-the-art ef­flu­ent sep­a­ra­tor, nu­mer­ous other sup­port­ing build­ings and a large house.

The prop­erty, on Hol­land Road, was de­vel­oped three years ago as one of around 10 robotic milk­ing op­er­a­tions in the country. It has 16 sep­a­rate ti­tles, mak­ing it even more at­trac­tive to in­vestors.

This farm will be sold through auc­tion on De­cem­ber 8.

Prop­erty Bro­kers re­gional man­ager Greg Kel­lick said it was one of sev­eral large dairy prop­er­ties that are now on the mar­ket.

He said Waikato farm prices were ex­pected to lift this sea­son on the back of a brighter out­look for dairy­ing, con­tin­ued strength in re­turns on beef and height­ened in­ter­est from ur­ban in­vestors.

Kel­lick was not de­terred by a slower than nor­mal start to new list­ings for the spring sea­son as ac­tiv­ity was start­ing to pick up.

He reck­ons there will be im­prove­ment in dairy farm prices re­gion-wide as the sec­tor pulls out of two years’ de­pressed milk­solids pay­out.

‘‘There has not been a del­uge of prop­erty sales as ear­lier feared but val­ues have been de­pressed since 2013. Sev­eral smaller units have sold re­cently at prices down around 30 per cent com­pared with just last au­tumn. Nonethe­less, con­fi­dence is now re­turn­ing on the back of spring grass growth and the fore­cast upturn in the pay­out for 2016-17.

‘‘Re­cov­ery in dairy­ing will flow onto dry­s­tock land val­ues due to the tra­di­tional mixed use of much of the Waikato’s good graz­ing land. Cur­rent beef prices make cat­tle fin­ish­ing an at­trac­tive op­tion along­side dairy sup- port,’’ Kel­lick said.

The pace of the re­cov­ery will, nonethe­less, hinge on the price ex­pec­ta­tions of buy­ers and sell­ers, he said. Many of the former are still look­ing to buy at last year’s lev­els or lower, and some ven­dors may have to mod­er­ate their op­ti­mism for a while yet.

Sam An­der­sen demon­strates a robotic milker at the Lely stand, at the Na­tional Agri­cul­tural Fiel­d­ays in 2014.

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