30 Jul 2009

Uruguay dairy-farm conversion programme back on track

9:48 pm on 30 July 2009

The New Zealand dairy farming enterprise in Uruguay is getting back on track with its expansion plans after a severe drought and the international commodity crash forced it to pull its horns in.

New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay, managed and part-owned by PGG Wrightson (PGW), had to slow down its dairy farm conversion programme and reduce stock numbers earlier in the year.

But now it's picking up the pace again.

The company has just completed a $US30m bond offer in Uruguay that was well over-subscribed, being strongly supported by government pension funds and the insurance authority.

50,000 stock the aim in two years' time

PGW financial services group manager Michael Thomas says the farm development programme is regarded by the Uruguayan government as nationally important.

And the bond issue will provide the company with funding for another five milking sheds, along with irrigation and power supply.

Mr Thomas says Farm Systems Uruguay plans to be running about 50,000 stock on 36,000ha by the time the development programme's finished in about two years.