2 February 1996

Canada dairy choice

DAIRY farming tends to be the most popular option among farmers relocating to Canada from the UK.

Having assisted over 100 families to emigrate during the past 15 years, Maurice Torr of agents Century 21 West-man Reality, Manitoba, also says:"Although interest is nationwide, more farmers based in the west of England – traditionally strong dairying country – have made the move."

In Manitoba the average dairy farm size includes 320-acres with between 45 and 50 cows plus replacements producing around 360,000 litres of milk a year.

This type of unit is usually sold as a going concern on a lock, stock and barrel basis including milk quota with a guide price around £375,000, says Mr Torr.

Usually including some arable production, a 1000-1200-acre beef farm achieves around £175,000 and between £325-450/head is needed for the stock.

Arable farms vary in size although an economic one-man unit averages 1000 acres and including a house and buildings the purchaser could expect to pay £325,000. Bare arable land ranges in value from £200-500/acre for the best quality land capable of vegetable production.

Buying procedure

"Also the procedure for buying property in Canada is quite different to in the UK," says Mr Torr. "One agent usually arranges all the viewings of farms for a purchaser irrespective of whether or not the property is on their books."

Once a decision to buy is made, the agent draws up an "offer to purchase", and once negotiations are finalised the signed "offer to purchase" becomes legally binding subject to the contractual obligations.