I’d like to start this market update by saying that our hearts go out to the farmers affected by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, as well as the wider communities who support them. There’s never a good time for a crisis like this, and we hope it can be dealt with swiftly so the recovery process can begin.

For anyone currently considering listing a farm, it might be reassuring to note that, while this is definitely a frightening period, there are still buyers in the market for the right properties. We’re not expecting listings to be especially affected – thanks to those resilient farmers getting on with things and getting that milk into the vats, milk prices are likely to continue rising and farms will remain good investments.

In terms of sales, it’s been a busy tail end of autumn. In fact, I’d call it an exceptional amount of activity. However, over the last 12 months farm prices in some areas have continued to ease despite dairy prices moving upwards, with the result that we have more buyers in the market than sellers at present.

Buyers are always looking for those top-quality farms with flat contours, which are well-presented, and in a good location. With the added challenge of M. bovis, there’s also strong demand for farms to be fully self-contained. Properties with grazing, especially for young stock, are sought-after; take away the requirement to move stock around different farms and you eliminate potential risk.

For us within the Farmlands co-op we’re doing a lot of work on best practice around farm visits. We’re taking biosecurity protocols very seriously, especially measures like decontaminating shoes and cleaning vehicles thoroughly. We’ve also suspended open day events to make sure that our vendors are not put at any transfer risk. All inspections are being completed on an appointment-only basis, following Farmlands’ strict industry-approved guidelines.

But on a positive note, the warm wet autumn – up till now, at least! – has made for phenomenal growing conditions. Most farms are very well set up for the winter and spring. Aside from M. bovis, things are actually going pretty well – milk prices look strong and interest rates are stable.

The next exciting event in our calendar is, of course, Fieldays, from 13-16 June. You’ll find us at site F103-109, and we’ve got some great deals for Farmlands shareholders who are looking to be listing in the spring. And if you’re not already a Farmlands shareholder, but want in on those deals, talk to us about how to become one!

For selling, setting definitive timeframes still seems to be delivering results, more so than listing with a set price. This way, buyers decide what a property is worth to them based on their due diligence, which gives them confidence in making their offer.

But so much of it depends on your property. So if you’re considering selling, and you’d like to talk through pricing and marketing strategies, get in touch today.

Stay safe, stay warm, and we’ll look forward to seeing you at Fieldays!

Ian Morgan AREINZ

[email protected]