Crown-owned institute AgResearch will sell its research farm in Mid Canterbury. The land was used as grazing and arable land for many years.

In 1976, 300 hectares of land purchased by the company contributed to more than 500 scientific researches. In addition to being a land grazing area, it was used for irrigation and long-term fertilizer trials.

The national farm manager at AgResearch, Ron Pellow, said it has 12 farms spread across New Zealand, which it used for livestock and cropping research. Projects and priorities had changed in recent years, which had seen more research conducted on commercial farms or small-scale intensive research. This meant it no longer required the Winchmore property, he said.

He added: “It’s ultimately influenced by where as New Zealand we choose to invest our overall research investment, and where AgResearch can best contribute to that and to outcomes of transforming agriculture… and for us at this point, it’s more of our research centred in places like Lincoln and Massey Universities.”

Officials said that scientific research will continue in the field.

Mr Pellow told small-scale research included the likes of forage breeding work, which starts with a few plants in a glass house and expands to a square metre.

He added: Research at the institute would not be compromised by the decision to sell Winchmore, with 4.1-hectare fertiliser trial set to continue operating beyond the sale of the farm, he said.

Pellow hopes that the land will continue to contribute to the domestic economy. It is thought that land will gain more importance in the future.


Sevdenur Demir / [email protected]