24 Mar 2011

New farm rush not expected

6:37 am on 24 March 2011

Fonterra is not expecting another rush of dairy farm conversions, despite being on track for a record payout to farmers.

The dairy co-operative has reported a half year net profit of $293 million and a 21% lift in revenue, due to continuing strong international demand and increased dairy prices.

And it's confirmed its current forecast payout to farmers of $7.75 - $7.80 made up of a milk price of $7.50 per kg of milk solids, plus dividends.

That would put it above the 2007-08 record payout.

But chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden does not expect it to trigger the level of conversions that occured then.

He says there will be new entrants to trhe industry, but not in the numbers of

four or five years ago.