‘When everybody starts going in one direction, it’s time to go in a …
December 20, 2017 - one direction
Born and bred in Whangarei, New Zealand, Chris Procter knew he was going to do dual things in life – play competition during a top spin and possess his possess farm.
In 1982, after completing a Waikato Farm Cadetship Scheme and a grant in Massey University, Chris returned to conduct a plantation for his relatives in Cambridge, New Zealand. After spending 3 years here, a serious downturn struck a dairy industry.
“The milk cost forsaken by 40% and cow prices fell from NZ$450 to around NZ$250. Farmers were offered adult or being sole up,” he said.
Taking mind of recommendation from his father, who said: ‘When everybody starts going in one direction, it’s time to spin around and go in a other’, Chris motionless to deposit in a dairy industry.
In 1987, he purchased a high tact index flock of 220 cows for NZ$55,000. Chris managed this craving as a one-man uncover and, by a finish of his initial year, a value of a cows had increasing to NZ$600. With this, he started looking for other opportunities.
After dual years, he managed to secure a 500-cow dairy acclimatisation nearby Matamata.
“I stretched a flock to over 600 cows in 5 years. we also purchased vast numbers of young, high genetic value dull cows for winnow cow value and grazed them on a severe retard of land.
Seven years of share tillage and my strange cows had increasing in value from NZ$250 to $1,200 and total stock numbers had increasing to 1,000. we was even happier and so was a bank.
A pierce to a South Island
After share milking for a series of years and carrying built adult assets, Chris put a wheels of apropos a plantation owners into motion.
“My long-term plan was to be a plantation owners and to have such a scale to capacitate me to pierce out of a cow strew by a time we incited 40.
“To do this we realised we would have to pierce divided from Waikato, where land prices were double that of a South Island.
“In 1992, we done trips to a South Island and looked during Southland and Canterbury. In 1993, we sealed adult for a dairy acclimatisation on a 215ha, flood-irrigated plantation (Tara) 10 mins from Ashburton.”
He added: “Some people suspicion we was crazy when we purchased Tara. But, during 34 years-of-age, my logic was that if all incited pear-shaped, we was immature adequate to start over again. Also, a plantation had extensive intensity so we corroborated myself.”
Given bill constraints, no reseeding or new fencing was carried out in a initial year. Instead, Chris managed a 380-cow flock as a one-man uncover for a infancy of a year. Over a subsequent dual years, flock distance increasing incrementally from 380 cows to 700 cows by a further of a beside block.
At a age of 40, and with a immature family, Chris opted to make a pierce in another direction.
It had been an heated 12 years of earthy and mental bid and we knew we was entrance bake out. we enjoyed a land, though we wanted to work smarter. We built another residence for a plantation manager and eased myself out of a cow shed.
With a bucket of milking cows lifted, Chris began to teach himself in skill investment and in 2003 he motionless to invest.
“I found a skill leased to a New Zealand Government that had 4,500m² of bureau space with a bank subsequent doorway also for sale as good and that we also purchased.
“For a initial skill understanding it was rather large, so we approached dual friends to join me in a purchase. It was agreeable 11.6% and seductiveness rates were 8% and streamer south, so it was purchased for NZ$5.6 million.
Chris also started to demeanour during rural investment opportunities in Australia in 2007. After a series of trips, he found a small, 133ha plantation (Oamarua) 20km from Mount Gambier. This plantation had 95ha of irrigation and a 40-bale rotary parlour.
After combining a partnership with dual other farmers, Chris purchased a holding.
Three years after a initial purchase, additional land was brought into a system. All-in-all, a farms underneath a partnership now furnish a sum total of 500,000kg of divert solids from 1,025 cows on 290ha (240ha are irrigated).
Bumps along a way
In 2010 and 2011, dual apart earthquakes strike New Zealand and dual blurb properties didn’t survive. At a same time, his matrimony was violation down.
“It took 3 years to tell a financial side of a matrimony as good as operative by a fallout from a blurb skill organisation and a house.
“In 2013, we motionless to sell Tara. Land prices were crazy, fuelled by a $8/kg divert price. So we put a plantation on a marketplace and we went to Africa for 7 weeks of climbing, tramping and kayaking.
“I indispensable time to consider and my timing could not have been some-more perfect. The genuine estate representative had an open day and 40 people incited adult and resulted in 12 tenders for a farm.
The NZ$2 million dollar investment had grown to NZ$15 million in 17 years. At a time, we wasn’t to know what was going to occur to a divert cost six months later.
“At a same time, we had finalised a explain with a word association on a blurb property. The NZ$5.6 million investment had now netted us NZ$16 million in 10 years, and really good dividends.”
Back to his roots
At 55 years-of-age, Chris changed behind to Mount Gambier and purchased a outline 244ha plantation (Lesper Park).
“I transposed a fences, races, H2O supply, ploughed a plantation adult and new class of grasses went in.”
The hardest part, he said, was indeed anticipating a cows and they finished adult entrance from 17 opposite lines with no ages, prolongation total or calving dates.
However, a opening achieved during a initial year of prolongation were startling and 335,000kg of divert solids (540kg/cow) were sold.
In Jul of this year, Chris also purchased a fully-developed plantation 15km from Lesper Park. This farm, called Wotton Park, is managed by Sean Durcan and consists of 270ha with 145ha of centre-pivot irrigation and a 25-unit, double-up parlour.
“I purchased a cows on a plantation that has an autumn calving component. we am in a midst of changing this to a only open calving herd. It will furnish approximately 330,000kg of divert solids this season, with a demeanour to relocating towards 350,000kg,” he said.
Chris recently determined an advisory house for a business, that consists of his 3 sons – Matt (27), Jason (25) and Talor (22) – and his accountant Nigel Pannent.
“I have been given a immature light by my family to lift on doing what we am doing. we now have a redeeming agreement on another 600-cow farm. There’s a small bit some-more due industry to go, though we am carefree of a takeover on Jul 1.
“As prolonged as we can get good people around me, we will continue to do this. These good immature farmers we work with keep me immature and motivated. we don’t buy farms to be a biggest child in a room. Life for me is most about outward farming. But, my sons, climbing, adventure, transport and aptness are only as important.”
Chris Procter is only one of a many speakers who will pronounce during a arriving Positive Farmers Dairy Conference on Jan 10 and 11 in Co. Cork.