11 Apr 2016

Farm value drops $1m in dairy price plummet

1:16 pm on 11 April 2016

A Northland dairy farmer who has gone into receivership says his farm has lost $1 million in value since dairy prices started to slide.

Both dairy farmers and the economy are buffeted by lower prices.

Photo: AFP

Chris Lethbridge has owned his farm in Whangarei for nine years, but it will be sold on the 1 June by the bank.

Mr Lethbridge said he'd had offers of work since he put a big yellow sign up on State Highway One by Warkworth saying: "dairy farmer gone broke, needs work', with the number '0800 cow cocky'.

He said the latest season had hit him in the pocket.

"When you get your dairy farm worth $3 million one year and $2 million the next, there's $1 million missing in the middle that you thought you had in your safe keeping, but I doubt whether we're even going to be able to afford to buy a house."

Chris Lethbridge said he wouldn't be the only farmer affected.

"We've got 17 farms in a 30 kilometre radius of us and I think that on the first of June that could easily triple, it'll be a domino effect."

Mr Lethbridge said once the dairy farm business was sorted he wanted to be a coach driver.