One of closest commercial kiwifruit orchards to Auckland's urban boundary is now for sale, with a prediction that it has potential to treble production.
Known as MacLachlan Orchard, the 12.2ha property, at 90 Mullins Rd, Ardmore, is planted on flat land, and is forecast to produce some 42,000 trays of fruit in the current season.
The orchard's 3.3 canopy hectares of productive land has about 2.29 canopy hectares of the Hayward green kiwifruit variety and 1.07ha of G3 gold kiwifruit (picked off vines grafted about six years ago).
Crop management financials for the orchard forecast a net profit of $31,848 per hectare for land sustaining the Hayward vines; and $71,805 per hectare for the land in G3 production.
The vines in MacLachlan Orchard are cultivated, and the fruit picked, under a management contract — with all fruit supplied to kiwifruit sales and marketing co-operative APAC.
The orchard is now being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Counties, with tenders closing 2pm, on April 11.
Salespersons Peter Sullivan and Kristina Liu say the 20-year-old orchard's topography and its closeness to the Manukau Harbour ensure the kiwifruit orchard had never been affected by frosts.
"There is substantial opportunity for doubling or even trebling the productive footprint of MacLachlan Orchard — by converting currently arable land within the property into kiwifruit plantings," Sullivan says.
"In its present configuration, MacLachlan Orchard is segregated into six blocks — each bordered by mature wind-break hedging. Irrigation for the orchard is drawn from a consented bore drawing up to 150cu m of water daily which is then circulated across the property through an electronic pump and automated sprinkler system.
"A bigger portion of land sits immediately adjacent to the existing vines, and it would be relatively straightforward to extend the vehicle access races to service an expanded orchard footprint. Additionally, there is also the potential for any new owner to develop the orchard's revenues through grafting the higher-value G3 kiwifruit variety to the Hayward kiwifruit stock."
The property's building infrastructure includes a four-bedroom single-level owner/manager's residence. Kiwifruit is New Zealand's largest single horticultural export by both volume and value — easily eclipsing wine and apples. Kiwifruit exports accounted for $1.6 billion in sales for the year ending June 2017, with that figure expected to double by 2025.
Combined, the European Union and Japan take almost half of New Zealand's export kiwifruit crop, with China our third biggest market for the crop.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has forecast that kiwifruit exports will surge in value to $1.8 billion in 2019, largely due to the increasing popularity of SunGold G3 kiwifruit.