Deer farm for sale at a prime time

The Southland Times - - WEATHER - TIM CRONSHAW

A large deer farm be­ing sold near Kaik­oura has landed on the mar­ket when veni­son prices are at their peak.

Mainly deer are run on the 1290 hectare farm called Stone Jug and the prop­erty sup­ports about 11,500 stock units, in­clud­ing 100 breed­ing cows, mak­ing it one of the largest deer farms in Can­ter­bury.

The sale by dead­line treaty end­ing April 19 co­in­cides with veni­son prices re­main­ing at record lev­els of $10-plus a kilo­gram.

Sell­ing a prop­erty at a high is a well-worn sales formula, but this does not seem to be the main mo­ti­va­tion for the fam­ily which has been on the farm the past 18 years and con­verted it to deer farm­ing.

‘‘The ven­dors were look­ing to re­duce their work­load and the sale has been planned for a long time and it’s timed nicely with re­newed con­fi­dence in the deer in­dus­try.’’ said Col­liers In­ter­na­tional ru­ral and agribusi­ness na­tional di­rec­tor Shane O’Brien.

O’Brien said the Stone Jug would be one of the larger deer farms, but not the largest in Can­ter­bury. A new home­stead be­ing built is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the time its own­er­ship pa­pers change hands.

The home­stead re­places the for­mer house dam­aged by earth­quake and the prop­erty also sup­ports a three-bed­room cot­tage, work­ers ac­com­mo­da­tion and farm build­ings.

All deer and cat­tle are fin­ished on the prop­erty, in­land from Kaik­oura, which ranges from de­vel­oped flats in­clud­ing 200ha with spray ir­ri­ga­tion to easy downs and steeper hill coun­try.

The farm has 59 main deer pad­docks, two medium hill blocks, three na­tive hill blocks and five river ter­race blocks.

The de­vel­oped 550ha and two fenced hill blocks are mainly used for car­ry­ing the deer, while the beef herd is on the back hill coun­try.

The first deer li­cence for deer farm­ing was is­sued in 1970 and Deer In­dus­try New Zealand es­ti­mates to­day 2000 farm­ers farm about one mil­lion deer.

New Zealand ex­ports deer hides, leather and vel­vet as well as veni­son with Ger­many the largest ex­port mar­ket, fol­lowed by the United States, Bel­gium and the Nether­lands.

O’Brien said the farm’s lo­ca­tion had the ben­e­fit of hunt­ing, fish­ing and agri-tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties on the Alpine Pa­cific Tri­an­gle.

The 1290 hectare farm Stone Jug is one of the largest deer farms in Can­ter­bury, sup­port­ing about 11,500 stock units.

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