x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Milk the market: Dh50m property in Uruguay comes with 1,000 cows

The Life:  Sale of San Pedro Dairy Farm, two and a half hours from Montevideo, includes land, machinery and livestock.

San Pedro Dairy Farm comes complete with 1,000 cows. Courtesy Savills
San Pedro Dairy Farm comes complete with 1,000 cows. Courtesy Savills

It's not quite free curtains or carpets, but the sellers of this 1,042-hectare property in western Uruguay are throwing a few extras into the Dh49.6 million (US$13.5m) sale - 1,000 cows.

San Pedro Dairy Farm, two and a half hours' drive from Uruguay's capital, Montevideo, and within three hours by boat and car from Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, comes stocked with land, machinery, equipment and livestock.

Although the working dairy farm in the small South American republic currently milks 1,000 cows with 850 dairy young stock, the sellers say that, with further investment, it could sustain 2,500.

According to selling agents Savills and Gateway to South America, whoever buys the farm could well be raking in yields of up to 10 per cent upon milking.

"The current owners have developed a robust 10-year business plan to include medium-term additional investment, specifically being an increased number of milking cows and three further centre pivot irrigators to ensure that the irrigatable area is at the maximum potential," says Stephen Hall, an associate at Savills International farmland department.

"The business plan shows significant economies of scale once the business is fully capitalised, which produce conservative net yields of over 10 per cent from an early stage."

San Pedro's current owners, a group of farmers from New Zealand, bought the vast tract of land in 2007 and set about damming a stream to provide irrigation. They say the land could also now be used for higher-yield arable farming.

Greg Aylward, manager and part owner of San Pedro, says the farm is definitely the cream of the crop.

"We analysed the various opportunities in this area of Uruguay and having set strict selection criteria, opted for the San Pedro location as the standout choice," he says.

So, if you've got the funds and fancy starting a new life in South America, it's time to start "mooving".

lbarnard@thenational.ae