Landcorp scaling back dairy conversions

Landcorp, New Zealand’s largest farming company will scale back the conversion of former forestry land to dairy farming at the Wairakei Estate north of Taupo following a slump in milk prices and concern about the environmental impact.

Landcorp said it will significantly reduce dairy’s footprint from the original plans and instead include alternative uses for the 14 500 hectares of former forestry land it leases from Wairakei Pastoral.

The company has a 40-year lease to develop and farm the former forestry land, and since 2004 has developed 13 dairy farms with 17 000 cows over 6 400 hectares of the property.

A new land-use model will see the eventual number of dairy farms and cows on the Wairakei Estate significantly reduced from the 39 originally planned, it said.

“Under the new plan, the land leased from Wairakei Estate would be used for dairy (irrigated and dryland), dairy support, sheep milking and other potential uses being investigated,” Landcorp said. The land-use changes will lessen the impact on the environment and improve the profitability for Landcorp, it said.

The company expects to spend between $25 million and $35 million less than originally planned on the development, improving returns, it said. To read more, click HERE.

Published on Wednesday, 22nd March 2017 - 13:39