27 Oct 2015

Dairy research farm plan suffers setback

10:19 am on 27 October 2015

Plans to be build a dairy research farm in Southland have been set back as suitable land for the project cannot be found.

The Southern Dairy Hub is a collaboration between AgResearch, Dairy NZ and farmers to create a centre for research and education on a 380-hectare farm which would be stocked with 800 cows.

The $26 million project was due to start producing milk in June 2016, but Southern Dairy Hub chairman Maurice Hardie said finding enough land in the right place was difficult and the project was being delayed by a year.

"In Southland, 380-hectare blocks are not particularly normal," he said. "Most of the individual farms are smaller than that. We're effectively trying to marry two or three farms together to be able to get the size we need to do what we've undertaken to achieve."

The aim was to have land with several different soil types and that had water running through it."We'd like it to be in southern central Southland and somewhere handy to State Highway 6 so that all of the farmers we want to engage with can easily get to us."

Mr Hardie said planning and design of the hub's facilities would continue, so that when the right land was found the project would be ready to go without delay.

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