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Corporate sell-off puts nine farms on the market

Big corporate sell-off puts nine farms on the market

One of the biggest corporate farming sell-offs in rural New Zealand this year has seen nine farms totaling 3,500 hectares placed on the market for sale.

Carter Holt Harvey is selling the newly developed dairy farms which it converted from forestry land around Tokoroa after harvesting the trees. The farming units are being marketed by Bayleys - with six to be sold pre-Christmas, and three to be sold in February 2009.

Bayleys senior country agent Mike Fraser Jones says Carter Holt Harvey is selling the farms as part of the company’s planned conversion of forest land to dairy farms at a time when dairying land prices are strong, in order to divest assets outside Carter Holt Harvey’s core business activities.

Based in New Zealand, Carter Holt Harvey is Australasia’s leading supplier of wood products, pulp, paper and packaging. CHH is a key holding of Auckland entrepreneur Graham Hart’s Rank Group. Rank Group purchased Carter Holt Harvey in 2006 for $3.3 billion. Due to further international acquisitions, Rank is now a dominant world producer of beverage packaging.

Carter Holt Harvey used an advanced ‘greening’ process for recycling tree material left from its harvest to create better fertility on the farms, Mr Fraser Jones said.

“The farms represent the end process of converting forested land back into a productive state. Once the trees were harvested, Carter Holt Harvey recycled the remaining stumps and tree material into a valuable organic ‘potting mix’ material, which was spread onto adjacent pasture land and further enriched with fertiliser applications to create highly productive dairy grazing land,” he said..

“It’s an economically beneficial and responsible method of regenerating the land resource,” he added. The first six farms are being sold by tender in the next few weeks, with the remainder being marketed in February 2009. The sizes of the first six farms range from 170 to 340 hectares, with two already milking 500 cows and the remainder due to be all operational by spring of next year.

Mr Fraser Jones said the farms were being sold individually, but were developed together using high tech’ practices in modern dairy farm design.

“Carter Holt Harvey sold off some of its land around Tokoroa, but retained 30,000 hectares with the best contour, soil type and locality to be developed as dairy farms,” he said.

Each of the six farms for sale has been designed for optimum efficiency, with about 1,400 metres walking distance for the cows, centrally located, top-of-the-line dairy sheds, and architect-design homes located for convenience and views.”

The farm layouts were extensively mapped with global positioning satellites and computerised mapping systems to optimise the layout of fences, buildings, races, water systems, effluent systems and farm services. Steep areas, gullies and wetlands have been fenced out for aesthetic reasons, and to protect the environment.

“The company took particular care to comply with environmental best practices - with a view to complying with future nutrient controls that may be applied by Environment Waikato on the Waikato River catchment from Taupo and Karapiro,” Mr Fraser Jones says.

Each farm comes with a new dairy shed configured for farm size, assuming three cows per hectare. There are three high quality new homes per farm (with one large property having four homes).

The first farms up for sale include:

Nemo, Puriri Road, Tokoroa: 349 hectare unit with 251 hectares effective, milking 500 cows in its first year with targeted production in excess of 200,000 milk solids. Contour is rolling with some steeper. Includes a 50 bale rotary shed.

Wapiti, State Highway 30, Atiamuri: 344 hectare unit, with 175 hectares effective. The farm is anticipated to be milking 430 cows through a 40 ASHB with target production in excess of 170,000 milk solids. Contour is rolling with some steeper land.

Mortensen, Old Taupo Road, Lichfield: 373 hectare unit, with 333 hectares effective. Contour is flat to gentle rolling. Anticipated to milk approximately 800 cows with target production in excess of 300,000 milk solids. Includes a 70-bale rotary shed.

Opal, Ongaroto Road, Atiamuri: 423 hectare unit, 264 hectares effective. Contour is rolling. Anticipated to be milking approximately 650 cows with target production in excess of 250,000 dairy solids. Includes a 50-bale rotary shed.

Kereru, Ongaroto Road, Atiamuri: 487 hectare unit, 217 hectares effective. Contour is flat to gentle to rolling. Anticipated to be milking 500 cows with targeted production in excess of 200,000 milk solids. Includes a 50-bale rotary shed.

Mastiff, Maraetai Road, Tokoroa: 467 hectare unit, 230 hectares effective. Contour is rolling with some steeper land. Anticipated to be milking 550 cows with targeted production in excess of 200,000 milk solids. Includes a 50-bale rotary shed.


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