Dairy farms a hard sell as boom ends

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Zealand ru­ral spokesman Brian Pea­cocke said farm­ers were switch­ing from dairy­ing back to sheep and beef in North­land, south­ern Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and in South­land.

Both con­firmed there were a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of dairy prop­er­ties on the mar­ket.

Pea­cocke said some ven­dors had not ac­cepted that val­ues had eased and were hold­ing out for an un­re­al­is­tic price.

While REINZ’S sta­tis­ti­cal data showed an in­crease in the me­dian price per hectare for dairy farms, Pea­cocke said the true story was not be­ing told.

‘‘There is lit­tle de­mand for sec­ond or third tier prop­er­ties. The good ones are still sell­ing re­ally well.’’

Many farm­ers had reached re­tire­ment age and were fed up with in­creased com­pli­ance costs and dis­sat­is­fac­tion with their milk pro­cess­ing com­pany. For some there was frus­tra­tion with the per­ceived lack of em­pa­thy em­a­nat­ing from cen­tral gov­ern­ment, he said.

Avail­abil­ity of farm labour was an­other ma­jor fac­tor.

Pea­cocke said a gen­er­a­tional change was oc­cur­ring with farm own­er­ship in New Zealand.

New­bold said the dairy mar­ket was at the bot­tom of the cy­cle. ‘‘If you go back and look at the stats, 2014 was the peak. It’s not all doom and gloom, there just needs to be a re-think.’’

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