Big dairy project under way

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Development of the Craigmore Farming properties in the Enfield/Windsor area is well under way with 11 new houses being built, three cow sheds and a further five-to-seven centre pivots to be constructed – all part of a $12-14 million development plan.

The company has purchased 1760ha and plans to milk around 5000 cows this season.

All eyes are on the company, which is carrying out full-scale development work on adjoining properties. The work will be 95 per cent complete by the start of season in August next year.

Properties which have become part of the Craigmore Farming portfolio are Arnmore, Clydesdale, Corriedale, Waiareka and Windsor.

The company plans to consolidate its business activities in the Enfield district and has no plans to purchase more land.

Three new dairy sheds are being built, two herringbone and one rotary, which will each lend themselves to different sized units ranging from 400-850 cows.

Peter McLeod, Craigmore Farming general manager dairy, said this season would be a juggle until the development was finished.

“We have enough land area to fully feed and milk cows while the development is going on,” he said.

They plan to milk close to 6000 cows next season using a grass-based system with supplementary feed on the shoulders. Young stock are grazed off farm.

The 11 new houses are being built by North Otago businesses and the earthworks are being carried out by Plateau Works and Land Plan.

Andrew Horsbrugh, chief operating officer, said the company wanted to replicate the family farm model and manage it sustainably while still running a viable business.

“We’re mindful we have to be judged by our actions not our words,” Mr Horsbrugh said.

Planting low growing natives and English trees are all in the plan, as is variable water application according to soil moisture and type, and creating a point of difference to attract good staff. Staff numbers will reach 50-55 people at calving.

PHOTO: LINDA MCCARTHY – Craigmore Farming’s management, Peter McLeod, left, general manager dairy, and Andrew Horsbrugh, chief operating officer, both of Christchurch, were visiting their Enfield properties yesterday.