6 Dec 2011

Survey on reasons behind decline in share-milking

12:47 pm on 6 December 2011

Sharemilking, the traditional pathway to dairy farm ownership in New Zealand, is under pressure.

Federated Farmers is launching a survey to identify the issues and the best options for young farmers seeking to buy their own farms.

More than a third of the 11,000 - 12,000 dairy farming businesses in New Zealand are share-milkers who run their herds on other people's farms and split the income with the farm owners.

But Federated Farmers Sharemilkers chair, Ciaran Tully says the number of share-milking positions has declined in the past few years and it's getting harder for them to raise the money to buy a farm.

He says the survey by AgFirst, an agricultural consultancy, will seek the views of sharemilkers, contract milkers and those involved in farm equity partnerships as well as farm owners who operate with sharemilkers or contract milkers.