Once Wairakei Estate’s dairy farming operation is fully realised it is expected to be producing around 5.6 million kilograms of milk solids per annum. The temperate climate of Wairakei Estate is perfect for growing grass to feed herds year-round, making pastoral dairying an ideal choice as one of the most efficient and productive ways to use this land.
Wairakei Estate is currently home to 19 bovine dairy platforms – Achilles, Broadlands, Endeavour, Pinta, Renown, Resolution, Mayflower, Victory, Earnslaw, Otago, Burgess, Quest, Halls, Quarry, Ajax, Endurance, Hirst, Bounty and Discovery with one spring sheep dairy unit, St. Kilda. These are all leased to, and farmed by, Landcorp Farming Limited (LFL), New Zealand’s largest corporate farmer, with over 100 years of expertise, innovation and skill in farm management. Once development is complete it is expected there will be approximately 21 dairy units and 3 spring sheep dairy units.
Dairy platforms occupy flat land, mostly at 350 to 450 metres above sea level. Dairy support land complements the dairy platforms by raising the dry stock, growing supplementary feed and wintering cows on winter forage crops. Both Landcorp and Kiwi Grazing Limited lease and farm dairy support areas. In addition, Kiwi Grazing Limited also operates a beef grazing business.
Fiber Fresh anticipate their needs relative to annual lucerne production will also grow steadily, reaching an estimated 10 million kg DM (dry matter).
By 2021, forestry operations on Wairakei Estate will have produced over 2.8 million tonnes of wood for harvest. Over 1,200 hectares is planned to be retired from any form of productive use.
Research in the Waikato showed that taking steep land out of pasture and returning it to plantation forest boosted profits from pasture by 15% – despite reduced land area.
Whatawhata Research Centre, NIWA Paper by Quinn, et al 2006