Welcome to Bayleys Rural Insight, your go-to guide for regular, informative commentary on key matters affecting those living and working in rural New Zealand.
With New Zealand’s economic fundamentals and commodity markets ever changing, we take a look at how this can impact the rural sector as well as the effect it may have on rural and lifestyle property.
Every fortnight a new Rural Insight will be released focusing on the different sectors of the rural market including dairy, sheep and beef, viticulture, and horticulture. In addition, we will investigate issues relevant to those pursuing their lifestyle property dream.
Horticultural prospects positive.
The horticultural sector has continued to surge ahead despite the turmoil and uncertainty Covid-19 has inflicted at a local and international level. Latest figures from Horticulture New Zealand highlight this success with the sector generating a record-breaking $6.2 billion of exports for the year ended June. This is up $700 million from last year and the sector’s earnings now account for 10 percent of the country’s export merchandise earnings.
Break away and support local.
With international travel off the table for the foreseeable future due to closed borders, Kiwis are being encouraged to see more of New Zealand and to redirect their leisure dollars into local economies.
Dairy prospects positive heading into new season.
Moving day in early June always brings a buzz of excitement through dairy farming regions as families move to new jobs and positions, taking up the next exciting opportunity in the industry they have committed much time, capital and energy to.
Primary sector a Covid-19 star in the economy.
The primary sector’s response to the Covid-19 crisis over the past weeks has set it up well for the uncertain future ahead, and offers some opportunities that will be welcome by many in those sectors that have been hit hard by the global pandemic.
Farm Environment awards recognise value of New Zealand farmers.
The Covid-19 lockdown has prompted organisers of New Zealand’s most prestigious farm awards to take an innovative approach when recognising this year’s top farmers.
Getting on with the “new normal”.
The past weeks have delivered unprecedented change to New Zealanders’ way of life, at home and in business, and looks likely to extend well beyond the exceptional four-week lockdown period.
Kiwifruit hold golden glow.
With the new season’s SunGold kiwifruit licensing tender due to open next month, expectations are that orchardist interest in the 750ha area being made available will be at least as strong as last year.
Fire risk rising with summer heat.
This summer, farmers and rural land owners have experienced one of the driest, hottest periods ever, with pasture and feed supplies rapidly dwindling in the summer heat.
Surfing for Farmers.
The opportunity to get off the farm, learn to surf and have some fun has proven to be a simple but successful formula to relieve stress for a growing number of farmers around New Zealand.
Small blocks’ supplements an income option.
With summer’s heat starting to impact feed supplies in many parts of the country many farmers are eyeing available feed supplies, and options for sourcing more should things run tight heading into autumn.
Solar power provides off-grid options.
Looking to the sky for energy solutions is no longer something for daydreamers as more rural landowners consider solar energy as a means for powering their farms and lifestyle blocks.
Big effort to deliver sustainable premium for NZ food.
Much has been made about New Zealand’s status as “100% Pure” and how much, or how little, needs to be done to keep that claim valid.
Horticultural investment an appealing pastoral option.
Typically when investors think about horticulture as an option they will cast their eyes up to Northland for avocados, across to Bay of Plenty for kiwifruit, and possibly to Hawke’s Bay for apple orchards.
Botanicals offer scent of success.
The climate that has made some parts of New Zealand so good for growing grass also brings opportunities to develop some niche, high-value crops that are helping to establish new industries alongside traditional pastoral sectors.
Farm to plate innovation adds value.
Throughout provincial New Zealand there is a food revolution taking place boosting employment opportunities, adding value to raw products and growing this country’s reputation as a South Pacific food bowl.
Water plans bring tight deadlines.
Farmers and industry leaders have been scrambling to try and get submissions in on the government’s water quality package, and this will prove to be not the only tight timeline underscoring the proposals.
Camping with a twist is a lifestyle winner.
As the daily life becomes busier, people are seeking out holidays where they can disconnect. Rural property owners are realising the benefits of opening up their land to guests through innovative glamping opportunities.
Labour issues in booming sector.
The surge in production has been welcomed by rural New Zealand. However, labour shortages starting to threaten the sector’s ability to continue its productivity.
Award entrants provide pathway to sustainability.
With more environmental constraints being placed around farming, the timing has never been better to showcase those setting new standards with practices to keep New Zealand farming the most sustainable in the world.
Dry stock farm profit drives demand.
A recent report analysing dry stock farm production and profitability has provided some insights for farmers and consultants alike on what makes the top farms tick, and what will help average farms become better in an environment of positive returns this season.
Wool options open up with research.
Thanks to work by the likes of AgResearch and innovative corporates the applications for coarse wool in the future look likely to extend well beyond simply employing it as a fibre for clothing, carpet or coverings.
Farm biosecurity helps lock out disease risk.
The outbreak of M.bovis largely in South Island dairy farms has bought the issue of farm biosecurity into the spotlight, challenging how farmers deal with stock movements on and off their farms, and even the movement of people coming on and off the farm property.
Lessons from Europe in NZ’s food-farm opportunities.
Countries like Italy and France are renowned for the way they have interwoven their history, farming and food into an attractive, romantic cultural heritage that millions of people from around the world come to savour and enjoy.
Pastoral sector poised to cope with gas limits.
As the government’s rules on managing green-house gases becomes clearer, New Zealand’s pastoral sector is well positioned to handle the changes that the rules will bring to it.
Farm environment awards open networks for farmers.
The growth in numbers of farmers entering the Ballance Farm Environment Awards is testimony to increasing awareness the environment sits firmly at front and centre for the primary sector, with this year’s winners exhibiting some class leading skills.
Forestry partnership provides growth opportunities.
Carbon storage, government development incentives and a global appetite for timber all mean forestry is a more appealing investment option than ever, but also one that can be complicated by those same factors.
Sunny side up for rural sector’s real value.
The primary sector’s contribution to New Zealand’s wealth creation has continued to remain strong as global demand for quality, high end food products keeps growing.
People’s role recognised in sustainable journeys.
The Ballance Farm Environment Awards have long been a highlight in the rural calendar, with award winners doing much to showcase the best this country has to offer in farming talent that recognises and respects the environment they depend upon.
New Zealand food repositions as China grows wealthier.
When New Zealand signed its free trade agreement (FTA) with China in 2008 exports to that country totalled $2.1 billion and by year end September last year were worth $16.6 billion, almost twice what is sold to the United States.
Farm lending options needed.
Pressure is on farmers who have significant farm debt to start paying it down, while those seeking debt to purchase a new farm or expand their existing one are facing greater budget scrutiny and equity requirements from their bankers.
Tropical fruit options bring exciting opportunities.
Bananas, so often associated with warm tropical climates on the equator may prove to be another cropping opportunity for enterprising horticulturalists from Northland to Gisborne.
Orchard development brings options.
The horticultural sector has touched on golden times over the past five years as the value of the sector’s exports has surged by over 40% in five short years to 2017 - prospects are that growth will continue for years yet as the world clamours for quality fresh produce.
Organics gets big tick for standards.
The New Zealand organic farming sector has just received a valuable boost thanks to the recent agreement to set a national standard for the sector. While it comes several years after most of the rest of the world, a leading organic supporter says the move is better late than never.
Sheep meat hitting record returns.
10 years ago the sheep farming sector was facing some tough assaults upon its claim as one of the country’s most important export sectors. Today it is one of the most profitable contributors to the pastoral sector.
Arable prospects ploughing ahead.
Good seasonal prospects, stronger markets and an increased variety of crop options are putting the cropping sector on a good footing after a two tough years, with farmers optimistic returns will be buoyant for some time yet.
Commercial-rural property investment options open up.
There is a shift taking place in rural property investment that has more farmers putting their hard earned equity down the road in commercial property, often alongside their home farm investments.
Farmers urged to consider partial greenfields orchard options.
Growing confidence in the kiwifruit sector is providing new opportunities for pastoral farmers to tap into, giving them the opportunity to be part of the horticultural success story without necessarily having to sell their entire farm to do it.
Rural realtor steps up for environment award sponsorship.
The role people play on farms in helping keep them sustainable and profitable has been recognised with Bayleys rural real estate throwing its support behind the country’s most prestigious, long standing environmental awards.
Environment and farming win with irrigation.
Despite the government winding up the Crown Irrigation Investment fund, prospects for irrigation remain upbeat in the eastern regions of both islands, with established schemes well subscribed and proposed schemes keen to continue.
Horticultural opportunities expand.
Irrigation projects, growing export demand and higher income earners making healthier dietary choices are all contributing to a surge in New Zealand’s horticultural sector.
New cropping sector could ride high on returns.
As New Zealand’s arable sector continues to refine its skills and expand the range of high value crops capable of being grown here, hemp is poised to tick another box in the sector’s crop portfolio.
Opportunities lie in new food sectors.
There is a food revolution spreading through provincial New Zealand as businesses founded on a supply of high quality protein and produce start to find their niche in the global food industry.
Farmers seek alternatives for lighter footprint.
As farmers around New Zealand grapple with the impact of ever tightening nutrient limits, some options for maintaining fertility whilst keeping nutrient losses down are gaining traction.
Bayleys success no mystery at Fieldays.
This year’s Fieldays will prove to be a highly positive one thanks in part to what has proven to be one of the most benign autumns and continuing strong returns in the agri-sector.
Women in agriculture face unique challenges
Thanks to technology, better access and growing equality, the agricultural sector has more women than ever engaged in the sector, across the spectrum of job types.
Farmers may be sitting on quarry gold
As the construction sector’s appetite for rock and aggregate continues to grow, farmers may find themselves sitting on the opportunity to invest in a second income source, in the form of a quarrying operation.
Bright prospects after positive farming year.
Without exception every part of New Zealand’s farming sector has enjoyed a positive profitable year in terms of returns, delivering record incomes to provinces from Kaitaia to Bluff.
Is there life after farming?
Making the step from farming to retirement can be a big challenge for many farmers with close ties to their land, but it is also one that can open doors to some exciting new opportunities, good physical health and new social networks.
Pastoral farming can seize protein opportunities.
A new survey examining the threat of alternative proteins to New Zealand’s red meat sector may offer a glimpse into as many opportunities as threats the new food types pose for Kiwi farmers.
Bringing high tech to high country tradition.
One station operator is leading the charge on integrating cutting edge technology with traditional high country pastoral operations to improve productivity, safety and success in some of New Zealand’s toughest landscape.
Golden Shears gets sponsorship boost.
Despite New Zealand’s sheep population being only half what it was 20 years ago, interest in the iconic Golden Shears competition in early March remains intense, with a world class field of competitors due to take the stage.
Cherries blossom with prospects.
The connections between Central Otago and China extend back over a century to the gold mining heydays and today those links have become even firmer, this time thanks to a small juicy fruit bringing a gold rush all of its own.
SunGold brings potential for green field orchard development.
In the wake of the devastating Psa disease that struck the kiwifruit sector in 2010, the Psa tolerant SunGold variety has proven to be an industry lifesaver outperforming expectations and helping turn the sector into an industry star performer.
Vineyard leasing an appealing lifestyle option.
New Zealand wines continue to be positioned in the “super premium” section of supermarket and liquor shelves overseas.
Land use options in South Island open up.
Farmer and investor interest in land on both Canterbury Plains and hill country is shifting beyond traditional pastoral uses as new water schemes start to be commissioned, and farmers look to diversify on their traditional pastoral income sources.
Horticulture leads shift in land use.
Generational changes, climate and new market opportunities are all opening the door to significant land use changes throughout parts of the upper North Island.
Growers and farmers face population pressure.
The strongest population growth in 42 years for New Zealand has bought some welcome economic growth, but also stands to bring challenges for primary producers in coming years.
Payout lift opens up dairy opportunities.
Fonterra’s recent profit announcement and payout confirmation of $6.12/kg milk solids (MS) plus a dividend of 40c/kg MS was greeted with a collective sigh of relief by farmers and rural communities around New Zealand last week.
Bloodstock sector on the up.
Increased local and foreign interest in New Zealand bloodstock is delivering a welcome boost to provincial towns where horse breeding and training have long been a tradition.
Manuka honey opportunities.
Despite being a tough year for Manuka honey harvesting last spring-summer, honey processors are optimistically looking forward to spring time with the hope of a better harvest, and continuing strong returns for the liquid gold crop.
Deer a profit option in hill country
Despite challenges around competing land uses and a shrinkage in the national herd, the deer industry is well positioned to fulfil New Zealand’s goal to provide high quality protein products to the world’s most well-heeled consumers.
Calf rearing comes with caveats
With the beef schedule sitting at near record highs and good prospects ahead for that continuing amid tight global beef supplies, rearing calves for the store market may be an option for small block holders over late winter-early spring.
Covenants offer option to protect farm bush
As farms come under pressure to fence off more waterways farm covenants are providing one means to achieve that while also adding to the property’s aesthetic and sometimes capital value.
Pork industry marks its success
The pork industry has undergone some major challenges in recent years, facing criticisms from animal welfare advocates on housing and management that the sector has been at pains to address and improve upon. With this and shifts in consumer demand, more opportunities than ever exist for investors and land owners alike looking at their porcine options.
Schooling with benefits
The integral role that a school plays in a local community is heightened in rural locations where it becomes a focal point for social activity and where a real sense of ownership is instilled among parents.
Farms provide “non farm” income opportunities
A myriad of alternative income opportunities have unfolded in recent years for land owners seeking to diversify their property’s farm income, and reduce their reliance upon land based, grass generated income.
Robotics and automation bring new skill set to farming
Techweek held over 10 days in May has provided a platform for New Zealand’s high value technology sector to showcase the developments and value the $23.5 billion industry is bringing to the economy, and agricultural agri-tech is a key part of that.
Buffalo offer unique land use option
Free range chickens, goats or even ostriches have all been possible options for small block holders and farmers seeking out a viable income source for their smaller parcel of land.
Coastal farming opportunities beckon
Generational shifts in land ownership and the appeal of a rural coastal lifestyle are contributing to a buoyant coastal farm market across the country.
A chicken and egg situation
In the early 1900s, around half of New Zealand households had hens in their backyards. After a lull in the practice, there is a definite swing back to chicken and egg basics around the country – particularly on lifestyle blocks.
Agri-tourism bringing a boost to farm income
While the pastoral sector collectively dominates New Zealand’s export earnings, tourism is charging hard on its heels and some farmers have found ways to combine the two to enjoy the best of both sectors’ success.
Rural towns get breath of life
While high house prices have been blamed for pushing home ownership in New Zealand’s larger cities further away for many, they have also proven to have a silver lining for smaller towns.
Thirst for beer brings hop growth
After several years of zero growth or even decline in consumption, it appears New Zealanders are re-discovering their taste for beer.
Subdivision opens up farm equity options
Subdividing part of the family farm may be a valuable and unconsidered option for farming families wanting to unlock some of their farm's capital value, without selling the entire farm to do so.
Niche crops offer new lifestyle opportunities
The prospects for New Zealand’s horticultural sector on having another bumper year looks positive with apples, kiwifruit and avocadoes all leading the charge for sales prospects making the sector worth $10 billion a year by 2020.
“NZ Inc.” brand getting closer
As New Zealand’s consumer markets become more diverse and sophisticated in their tastes and needs, conversation here at home is growing about the need for a cohesive “NZ story” that compels them to continue choosing New Zealand food products.
Getting online a necessity not a luxury for rural NZ
The need for rural New Zealand to be just as well connected to the internet as the cities is growing by the month, as the agricultural sector sweeps up more and more internet capable machinery and equipment.
Lifestyle blocks draw interest over spring
Once the domain of retiring farmers who can’t quite leave their rural roots behind, the lifestyle block is growing in appeal to a wider range of people across both the North and South Islands.
Dairy goat opportunities on offer
The threads of dairying are becoming more varied as farmers look to non-cow options for farm milking platforms around the country.
Bed and Breakfast offers farm income option
The view many farmers take for granted on their farm may also be a money earner that makes life on the farm a little easier.
Apples add value into hort sector
The New Zealand apple industry is scooping global accolades for its performance and quality, with little sign of the sector’s current boom likely to fade any time soon.
Nutrient and water plans a long run up to change
Regional water plans have farmers and rural professionals warily eyeing what the implications are on farm equity and property values.
Avocado opportunities quietly grow
While kiwifruit may be claiming much of the spotlight for its re-surging success after the devastating Psa virus, the avocado sector has also been quietly building its own success story.
Organic demand opens exciting land use options
With two out of three New Zealanders now buying organic products during their shopping trips, prospects for food producers in the sector are looking ever more promising.
Dairy sheep provide value add pathway
A slow but certain interest in dairy sheep is starting to build throughout New Zealand as some cornerstone corporate farmers cement the industry’s footing as a viable pastoral alternative to traditional land uses.
Forest sector buoyed by carbon and timber
Despite a downward slide in forest plantings, a recently released report anticipates a surge in re-forestation as carbon values lift and timber prices remain firm.
Bayleys sees Manuka options open back country
The humble honey bee is contributing to a quiet land use revolution in some of the country’s more remote farming regions, bringing options and opportunities for farmers and rural communities.
Bayleys see new pathways open for farm ownership
Bayleys salespeople have witnessed a slide in the number of 50:50 sharemilking jobs over recent years, opening the door to new farm ownership opportunities often equally or even more appealing pathways to the ultimate goal of farm ownership.
Early start a good start for succession planning
Aging farmers without farm succession plans to help them step into well earned, enjoyable retirements are among the greatest concerns for realtors, financiers and farm advisors in New Zealand.
Rural property opportunities aplenty at Fieldays
A buoyant rural property market has provided an optimistic backdrop for Bayleys’ National Fieldays exhibit this year.
Green and Gold all go for kiwifruit sector
New crop varieties, good consumer demand and sound marketing have put kiwifruit back on the map for prospective investors and orchard owners wanting to participate in the sector’s success.
New Zealand remains popular stop for foreign land investment
Foreign interest in New Zealand farms, orchards and vineyards is helping maintain strong values in land across the primary sector, despite some tough times for some in agriculture.