Dairy farming is one of our core business activities and our current dairy operation located on the Waioweka flats has an effective milking platform of 285 hectares. In 2010 we engaged Price Waterhouse Coopers and Dairy NZ to review our dairy operations, and we moved to implement their recommendations the following year. We combined our two milking sheds under one operation and downsized our cow numbers in preparation for changes ahead. In 2011, we built a new feed pad to accommodate 600 cows as well as built a new effluent pond to manage any effluent off the dairy unit. In 2012, we built a brand new 60 bale rotary shed to improve efficiency as well as increase our milk production targets for the future. We have made a conscious effort to manage our farm within our environmental aspirations, and were approved a 20 year consent by Environment BOP this year, 2014.
We currently milk 900 cows and have set a target of 370kg milk solids for the year ahead, we will continue to improve our pasture management, as well as manage our feed regime and have purchased a 40ha feed block to support our dairy unit.
The Board is in partnership with the Trustees of Whakapaupākihi 6 & 7 and leases this 395ha block at Mōtuhora Road, Mōtu. This block is used for grazing of our young dairy stock, heifers, calves, carryover cows, fattening of beef stock as well as providing grazing services to other parties. We employ a local farmer to manage the property and have invested a considerable amount of time and funds into improving the pastures, fencing and water systems. We have a long term lease arrangement and vested interest in ensuring this property serves us well into the future.
The Trust Board has three kiwifruit orchards on Apanui Road, Te Tōtara and Tarata and has recently included Te Maara orchard into a joint venture arrangement with Ōpōtiki Packing & Coolstore (OPAC). These orchards total 11.19ha and is seen as a strategic investment for the Trust Board.
OPAC have engaged KCSM Horticulture Management group as its new manager and we are extremely pleased with their results to date. A significant amount of work has been done to improve our kiwifruit blocks and a majority of the work has focused around the development of G3, G9 and Hay Wood varieties.
The Waiteata No 2 Forest Partnership consists of 25 partners of which the Trust Board is one.This forest block is situated 76 kilometres by road North of Gisborne on the Tauwhareparae Road and comprises 462 ha of freehold land of which 390 ha is planted in pinus radiate. We are looking at felling these trees within the next 5 years.