Lifestyle to sell this dairy farm

Six-hour-a-day dairy farm


Dairy farms aren't normally sold with 'lifestyle' as the main feature but this Nambrok property has been set up for simple, efficient management.


The vendor of a Nambrok dairy farm says its best feature is just how little time he needs to spend running it.

Malcolm Sellen said his farm only demanded six-hour days from its operators, even allowing for twice-a-day milkings, and his message to potential buyers was simple.

"I would say you'd have a really good life, your kids would see you a lot," he said.

"You would be able to go away whenever you liked, barring calving time.

"It's a really easy lifestyle with this farm."

Still, this is no hobby farm. The Sellen family has adapted the classic low-input Kiwi dairy model to suit Australian conditions, creating a manageable, low-risk and resilient farm business.

Capable of running 380 to 400 cows, the 134-hectare property averages 162,000 kilograms of milk solids from 340 Kiwi-cross milkers fed 750kg of supplements in the bail, a sniff of silage in winter and not even a roll of hay.

The secret to its productivity is dependable irrigation.

Set in the heart of the Macalister Irrigation District in Victoria, Malcom and Jo Sellen's property is blessed with 338.9 megalitres of high reliability water, 438ML low reliability water and another 350ML of bore water.

The farm normally uses about 600ML a year to flood irrigate its laser-graded ryegrass and white clover pastures.

Around 90 per cent of the irrigation system is fully automated, with Mr Sellen spending about 30 minutes a day in the office to schedule waterings.

The dairy is set up for simplicity too, with a team of two completing milkings in just two hours.

It's a 30-unit swingover herringbone with no stall gates or cup removers and the herd generally records a bulk milk cell count of 150,000 cells a millilitre.

"I don't go for the automatic cup removers, it's just another thing to fix after milking, and the shed works really well without it," Mr Sellen said.

That's not to say the dairy is free of all conveniences. A generator large enough to run the dairy, refrigeration, bore and reuse pumps offers peace of mind.

The yard is being extended to create a 380-cow capacity and an automatic drafting system is currently under installation.

There's also been a big investment in laneways recently, which are sheeted with Talbot gravel reputed for being gentle on hoofs.

Two years ago, the Sellens invested in a large new calf shed, too.

The farm was being set up to allow Mr and Ms Sellen to step back from day-to-day operations if they could find a contract milker ready to transition to herd ownership.

Unfortunately, Mr Sellen said, the right person had been hard to find, so the couple had instead decided to sell.

The farm includes a four-bedroom weatherboard home and three-bedroom self-contained bungalow.

The property is on the market with a price guide of $5 million, with the option of purchasing the predominantly A2A2 herd on a walk-in, walk-out basis subject to negotiation.

Contact Gippsland Real Estate agent Paul Bourke on 0428 451 366 or Tim Missen at Wellington Real Estate on 0488 483 000.

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The story Lifestyle to sell this dairy farm first appeared on Farm Online.


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