Southland dairy farms attract most investments

TERRI RUSSELL IN GORE
Last updated 11:07 15/01/2013

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Almost $17 million was invested in four Southland dairy farms last year, which made up half of the capital raised by one of the country's largest dairy farm managers.

MyFarm released its 2012 investment figures last week and of the $35m invested nationwide, Southland attracted more than 40 investors, none of which were from the region.

More than $10m was raised for the purchase of two new farms in Otautau and another $5m for the purchase of shares in two existing MyFarm syndicates in Woodlands and Riverton.

MyFarm director Andrew Watters said Southland offered a reliable and profitable landscape for New Zealand investors and the company was shifting more resources to the area.

It had good weather conditions for dairy, and investment in the region would be ongoing, he said.

"I think dairy in Southland will keep growing.

"As dairy in Southland grows, we want to grow with it," he said.

However, environmental issues and the pressure on grazing were limitations on dairying in Southland, Mr Watters said.

"We've all got to manage and reduce our environmental impact."

It was no surprise that Southland accounts for a large portion of the investment, as it hosts about 60 per cent of the MyFarm syndicates, he said.

Federated Farmers Southland dairy chairman Allan Baird said Southland had a lot of flat land and good weather for dairying.

Summer rains lower the need for irrigation and the region also offers reliable and consistent returns, he said.

"The reliability of summer production is where Southland shines."

Investment and conversions are likely to continue and companies like MyFarm provide capital for taking over farms and develop their productivity, Baird said.

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