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Graeme Hart puts $225 mill of dairy farms on the market

Thursday 21st January 2010

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The biggest corporate farming sell-off ever seen in New Zealand is placing 29 state-of-the art ‘designer' farms on the market - for a combined asking price of $224.5 million.

Graeme Hart's Carter Holt Harvey is selling the newly developed dairy farms which it converted from forestry land around Tokoroa after harvesting the trees. They range in size from 218 hectares to 726 hectares, and range in price from $5.1million to $10.4million. Combined, the farms are currently supporting almost 20,000 dairy cows.

Bayleys senior country agent Mike Fraser-Jones said Carter Holt Harvey is selling the farms as part of the company's planned conversion of forest land to dairy farms in order to divest assets outside Carter Holt Harvey's core business activities.

Fraser-Jones said the farms had been commissioned into production on a rolling schedule since the middle of 2008. All properties were located within a 20 minute radius of Tokoroa and are sited near other existing dairy farming units.

Each farm comes with a new dairy shed configured for farm size, assuming three cows per hectare. All farms have a deep bore with a pressure water system, while the dairy sheds are a mix of five herringbone and 24 rotary.

"The farms represent the end process of converting forested land back into a productive state."

"Carter Holt Harvey sold off some of its land around Tokoroa in the late 1990s, but retained 30,000 hectares with the best contour, soil type and locality to be developed as these dairy farms now being sold.

"The farms are all new and the only capital expenditure to outlay being continued development of rows of decaying trees to improve the productive capability of all the farms.

Fraser-Jones said all the farms had been developed using high tech practices in modern dairy farm design. Carter Holt Harvey used an advanced ‘greening' process for recycling tree material left from its harvest to create better fertility on the farms, applying lime, phosphate and chicken manure before substantial sowing of rye grass and clover - with all fertiliser applications managed and tracked by GPS mapping.



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