New LSB'ers in Canterbury

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10 years 3 months ago #36486 by renaelow
Hi everyone - i have to apologize in advance for my basic questions as both my partner and I have never lived on a farm so this is totally new territory for me. I've got so many questions and i don't know where to start.
We are building on a 10 acre block but currently have just over 30 acres we can work with for approximately 5years until the remaining land 20 acres will be sold. I am hoping to make the most of extra land while we can to generate some income but i'm unsure of what would give me the best return on land this size. My ideas so far are Lucerne, garlic, lavender or Beef Cattle. I'm swinging more towards the Lucerne as cattle could be a.) Too risky for beginners and b.) expensive outgoings due to fencing, medical bills and holding stands etc.
Do you have any ideas?
Also what is the deal with people leasing your land for their stock?
I have really enjoyed reading the articles and forums on this webiste - what a great idea.
I look forward to meeting you all and will greatly appreciate any advice.
Many thanks :)

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10 years 3 months ago #475839 by kaiapoi-ken
Welcome, your journey is about to begin. I would suggest you look at putting in Lucerne. You may find there is a local farmer who may be interested in leasing the paddock(s) or planting and sharing the proceeds. Ask around the local community. I know a few people in the area but nobody that is into cropping. With regard to having cattle, once again cultivate a local who has them. They will probably be only too willing to give advice. When we bought our small block a "friend" a beef breeder, gave us a house cow. She turned out to be the best animal we ever had but, boy, what a learning curve. Same friend was always on hand to help us with looking after her and to give advice when needed.
My advice would be to leave having animals until you are living there and can give them the care they need.

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10 years 3 months ago #475840 by RichardW
Replied by RichardW on topic New LSB'ers in Canterbury
Welcome and good advice from Ken too.
Lucerne would do well around the Halswell area

Running superfine Merino's for 15 years drench free and seed grower, sold through www.sentinelsgroup.co.nz/


Inventor of Watson multishears www.watsonmultishears.co.nz

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10 years 3 months ago #475852 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic New LSB'ers in Canterbury
Lucerne is costly to get established and need maintaining, but a good return for good quality hay or balance.
Good fences, yards, are essential
What about a lease for potatoes or such crop

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10 years 3 months ago #475911 by kaiapoi-ken
Kindajojo, maybe up your way Lucerne is expensive to grow but down here it's not too bad. Yes some maintenance is required but that is generally shared with the contractor.

Renaelow, potatoes would not be much of an option as there is plenty of land available in better growing areas. You could try growing them yourself but with the marketing etc. your costs will make it uneconomic. If Lucerne is maintenance heavy, potatoes are more so.

Sorry, don't get the bit about good fences and yards if you are cropping.

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10 years 3 months ago #475924 by renaelow
Replied by renaelow on topic New LSB'ers in Canterbury
Thanks kaiapoi-ken, I will make some enquiries. I'm very interested in having a house cow but totally agree, i want to be living on site to care for them. You don't happen to know when the ideal sowing time is for Lucerne? I have read a mix of things online but most saying sow on the shortest day and harvest on the longest? I will look into contractors etc to get prices etc. Your feedback has been encouraging.
Kindajojo, thanks for your advice, potatoes are a good idea, maybe something to think of later down the track.
I have been told Lucerne will grow well in Halswell so fingers crossed Richard W

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10 years 3 months ago #475932 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic New LSB'ers in Canterbury
I haven't heard the "shortest day,longest day" suggestion, but thats about right. September would probably be quite early enough to sow though.
If the whole 30 acres are to be planted, that will take some money to do. It will need spraying out in March and again in April, fertilising and liming soon and correcting in June, preparing the seed bed by ploughing, rotary hoeing, and whatever else is needed, planting, the cutting the hay or balage. There are contractors that will do all of that for you. At the moment all the contractors will be busy making balage and then hay. You could contact neighbours and ask who they use, because if you can get in while they are getting theirs done it makes it a bit cheaper. The get the contractor to give you a quote for what they will pay you for the grass that is there now. After last years drought, hay is in rather short supply.
There are advantages and disadvantages with leasing land. If you want to discuss them then do it on Your Place".

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10 years 3 months ago #476097 by Negodil
Replied by Negodil on topic New LSB'ers in Canterbury
Welcome renaelow, I've found this site fairly useful so I'm sure you will. If I was going to use the paddocks for hay to sell, I'd go for Lucerne because when it's established you should be able to get 3 cuts a year, depending on rain. I'd also look for someone to buy it standing. That way you don't have to worry about having it cut and baled. You may even be able to negotiate who looks after it, such as weed spraying, etc. So, it could be fairly low effort for you.

Fairhaven Alpacas, breeding champion Suri alpaca in Temuka

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