Carbon credits and cattle make for an interesting farming combo’
One of New Zealand’s most environmentally efficient farms – producing carbon credits now and being courted for national grid power generation through hosting a commercial wind farm – is on the market for sale.
Te Awa Station at Bideford in the Wairarapa is one of the region’s biggest farming units – and at 2230 hectares, is also one of New Zealand’s largest commercial farms currently on the market.
The property won the Balance Agri Nutrients Farm Environmental Award in 2003, then followed up that success when owners Robbie and Debbie Joblin took out the Wairarapa Sheep and Beef Farmer of the Year title in 2004.
Promoting the environmental strengths, excellent infrastructure, and sheer size of the property, Te Awa Station is being marketed by Bayleys Wairarapa. Bayleys sales consultant Blair Stevens said Te Awa Station had been meticulously developed over the past 10 years to create a sustainable farming business capable of lasting the next two or three generations.
“There has been a huge investment and development programme initiated across the property,” Mr Stevens said, “with more than $1.8 million spent in the last five years on cultivation, re-grassing, fertiliser, lime, drainage, fencing, yard addition and upgrades, tracks and dam building.
“For example, Te Awa Station has had 400 hectares re-grassed in the past five years, and a heap of fertiliser applied. Virtually all of the waterways and bush areas within the farm have been fenced to protect their integrity. This fencing also aids stock management.
“Gully areas have been planted with a variety of trees – all now producing carbon credits. Deer and trout can be found on the property, while the native bush stands are nesting areas for kingfishers and other native birds,” Mr Stevens added.
“One of the strengths of Te Awa is the excellent balance of contour, top class infrastructure, and therefore ease of management.
“At a time when New Zealand’s agricultural sectors is being put under the spotlight for the amount of greenhouse gasses being produced ‘off the land’, here is a farm generating commercially valuable carbon credits which can be sold on the international market.
“Looking ahead to when the Kyoto Protocol is implemented in New Zealand in 2013, the farm requires just four per cent more planting to become totally carbon-neutral – and therefore far more economic than other units which could well be paying into the carbon credit scheme.”
Generating the existing carbon credits are some 60 hectares of pine plantations – most of which have been pruned and thinned – as well as 90 hectares of native bush and a further 80 hectares of land ‘retired’ and placed under protection by the Queen Elizabeth the 2nd Trust.
“Additionally, the vendors are currently in discussion with Genesis Energy for the installation of a number of windmills on the property. Should the deal be finalised, this would generate, no pun intended, a very healthy steady revenue stream from the royalties,” Mr Stevens said.
“The vendors are passionate about leaving the farm in a sustainable state for future generations. They love the environmental features which have been developed. Sustainable practice farmers would be hard pressed to find a more robust ‘generational management’ system of this scale within New Zealand’s farming fraternity.”
With approximately 2077 hectares of effective land, the farm has been broken down into 250 paddocks – all with water. Even with huge areas out for cultivation and development, Te Awa Station has carried approximately 17,000 sheep and 700 head of cattle. The station has historically run with four labour units – supported by three four-bedroom homes spread over the farm, as well as single men’s quarters used by farm hands and casual labour.
The station’s ancillary facilities include five main sheep yards, 16 permanent satellite yards, four sets of cattle yards, three wool sheds, and an all-weather airstrip serviced by a 100 tonne capacity fertiliser bin.
Offers for Te Awa farm close on December 12. For further information, contact Blair Stevens of Bayleys Wairarapa, phone 06 377 0622 or 027 527 7007.