More changes ahead for farm­ers

South Waikato News - - Rural Delivery - PAUL O’SUL­LI­VAN

Re­cent Real Es­tate In­sti­tute statis­tics in­di­cate the num­ber of farms sold na­tion­wide in the three months to March 2016 dropped al­most 10 per cent since last year.

Farm val­ues, how­ever, re­main un­changed.

In South Waikato, while the mar­ket for dairy farms is sub­dued and farm listings are short, in­ter­est from peo­ple seek­ing 200 to 280 cow farms is re-emerg­ing, along­side cor­po­rate buy­ers in­ter­ested in farms with ca­pac­ity for a min­i­mum of 1000 cows.

Steady de­mand con­tin­ues for dry stock prop­er­ties, pos­si­bly re­flect­ing dairy’s softer out­look.

Else­where in the country, de­mand for beef, horticulture and viti­cul­ture land is run­ning high.

With mar­kets un­cer­tain, pru­dent farm­ers are scru­ti­n­is­ing the fu­ture.

One is­sue we must ed­u­cate our­selves on is im­pend­ing reg­u­la­tory change gov­ern­ing wa­ter and ni­trate use.

Re­gional wa­ter plans are an im­por­tant is­sue, most im­me­di­ately in parts of the South Is­land.

My PGG Wright­son Real Es­tate col­leagues ad­vise that new land use reg­u­la­tions are al­ready im­pact­ing Can­ter­bury and South­land prop­erty trans­ac­tions.

Sim­i­lar change will even­tu­ally reach South Waikato.

Th­ese new reg­u­la­tions de­fine farm­ing zones ac­cord­ing to river catch­ments, clas­si­fied based on the in­ci­dence of ni­trates leach­ing to ground­wa­ter and sur­face wa­ter.

Zones with greater ni­trate con­cen­tra­tion are more strictly reg­u­lated.

Farm­ers within each zone must mon­i­tor and mod­ify land use to min­imise their col­lec­tive im­pact on wa­ter.

Ev­ery farm will re­quire a unique Farm En­vi­ron­ment Plan.

Land use man­age­ment tools that eval­u­ate nu­tri­ent use, op­ti­mis­ing pro­duc­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes, form the ba­sis of th­ese plans.

Ni­trate leach­ing to ground­wa­ter is the crit­i­cal is­sue, pos­si­bly af­fect­ing stock­ing rates, fer­tiliser ap­pli­ca­tion and ef­flu­ent spread­ing.

This in­flu­ences prof­itabil­ity and land val­u­a­tion. Some farm­ers may need to con­sider al­ter­na­tive land use. This sys­tem will reach us soon enough, bring­ing sig­nif­i­cant im­pact for many. Farm­ers need to pre­pare ac­cord­ingly.

Like any change, with good in­for­ma­tion, the process of adap­ta­tion be­comes eas­ier.

PGG Wright­son’s team of tech­ni­cal field rep­re­sen­ta­tives can help with prepa­ra­tion of nu­tri­ent bud­gets and Farm En­vi­ron­ment

Paul O’sul­li­van is Bay of Plenty and Cen­tral Plateau Real Es­tate Man­ager for PGG Wright­son Real Es­tate Ltd. Since he be­gan his ca­reer in real es­tate in 1978, he has ne­go­ti­ated sales in ex­cess of $850 mil­lion worth of prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing dairy, sheep and cat­tle, forestry, water­front and agri­science projects.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.