Business Rural Spring 2021

70 | Large station offers huge potential for Sue Russell W hen Brent Pilet was approached by a sen- ior person from Landcorp to consider tak- ing over management of its Waipori Station farm, he saw it as a real opportunity to grow profes- sionally, looking after a larger farming enterprise. He stepped on to the sprawling 12,500 ha farm with a clear goal to increase the performance of the whole property. “I think when you are assessing performance of such a large area, there has to be a multi approach to growing the business, which includes all parts of its make-up, from people, health and safety, live- stock, infrastructure to technology and innovation,” says Brent. Waipori Station carries 28,000 breeding ewes of which this season, 6,000 have been put to a merino ram. While the property is 12,000 hectares its ef- fective footprint is 9500ha, used for grazing sheep, its 1800 angus breeding cattle and beef progeny. “We finish all beef stock born here, and currently we’re focussing on minimising pasture wastage during spring when it really takes off.” Brent’s introduced the concept of lever animals into the stock mix; animals that can be retained and grown or sold off as necessary, depending on pasture conditions and the state of the market. There’s a team of 12 permanent shepherds and general hands on board and casuals are also employed when needed. Waipori Station surrounds Lake Mahinerangi, a lake formed when a dam was built on the Waipori River for hydro-electric generation. The lake is 17km long and sits at an altitude of 420m above sea-level. Meat & Wool » Waipori Station Photos: Spring lambing on Waipori Station (top). Farm manager Brent Pilet says on such a large property there has to be multi approach to growing the business, which includes people, health and safety, livestock, infrastructure to technology and innovation. David Graham 027 474 8325 Roger Simpson 027 474 8324 • Unit 14, 16 Connolly Way, Cromwell • • s • Agricultural irrigation design • Supply of irrigators and material • Project management • Installation of system • Commissioning Irritech Otago are happy to be working alongside Waipori Station Retaining Walls, Sheep & Cattle Yards Rural Fencing, Residential Fences, PO Box 19 Lawrence Email: Rex & Sharon Macdonald Call 03 485 9190