First-time owners help to boost sales

First-time farm buyers are among the new owners of farms that have been changing hands in Taranaki.

First National Allied Farmers (FNFA) agent Owen Mills, of Stratford, and McDonald's Real Estate principal Peter McDonald say they are pleased to see sharemilkers moving up to farm ownership in time for next season.

Three dairy farms were sold this month, and sharemilkers bought several farms in the $2 million to $3m price bracket this dairy season, Mills said.

"It's encouraging to see the younger ones coming into the industry."

Last week a 69-hectare Manaia Rd dairy farm near Kapuni was sold at an auction attended by more than 100 people.

It attracted considerable interest because few farms in the highly prized Waimate Plains area were offered for sale, FNFA agent Murray Gibson said.

The farm, in its third generation of family ownership, attracted five bidders and was sold to a local farming family.

The $4.06m price represented more than $58,000 per ha and $47 per kilogram of milksolids (MS).

Although buyers were still looking for dairy farms, new listings were scarce, Mills said, after a surge in listings and sales late last year.

McDonald said a sharemilking couple paid $4.8m, or $43 to $44kg/ MS, for a Pukengahu dairy farm, near Stratford.

Like Mills, he said he enjoyed seeing sharemilkers move along the dairy farming pathway to farm ownership.

There had been more sales of Taranaki dairy farms this dairy season than in the past three or four years.

"It's been a great production season," he said.

"When the grass is growing, it makes a world of difference."

A 75ha South Taranaki farm fetched $3.26m at auction in November, equal to $44 to $45kg/ MS, and a 71ha farm near Inglewood fetched $3.08m at auction.

Noting renewed interest in back-country sheep and beef farms, McDonald said three or four had been sold in Taranaki in the past six weeks.

Farmers had enjoyed good lambing and grass growth.

Awatea Farm at Huiroa, east of Stratford, owned by the Hosking family for 65 years, had been sold by Allen and Christine Hosking.

Former Hurricanes rugby player Daniel Smith, of Waverley, and wife Raewyn recently bought two farms at Tututawa, east of Stratford, which they intended to combine into a 444ha unit.

In North Taranaki late last year, the 1427ha Te Kawau Station at Tongaporutu sold for more than $4m and the 2400ha Rerekapa Station, near Uruti, made $5.1m.

Taranaki Daily News