CRESSY dairy farmer George Rigney completed his first dairy conversion about five years ago - his second will be ready for the coming milking season.
Mr Rigney was earlier this year one of the speakers at a DairyTas open day near Symmons Plains and said that it had taken three generations of development to reach where they were today.
"Agriculture in the Northern Midlands has consisted primarily of wool, lamb, beef and cereal crops, but over the past 25 years, property owners with access to water have tended to diversify from pure grazing to include high-value cropping, such as vegetables and poppies," he said.
"At Delmont and (the recently acquired) Newham Park, we have progressed in a similar manner."
Mr Rigney, who completed a Marcus Oldham Agricultural College course about six years ago, said that dairying appealed because of its ability to achieve economies of scale with low risk, while maintaining a low cost of production.
"Water was sourced from the Macquarie River (at that time) and still is," he said.
"During the six years (after returning from Marcus Oldham) we experienced prolonged drought to the point where we were unable to irrigate much of the new (Newham Park) land due to water right restrictions.
"These restrictions prompted the investigation of an irrigation pipeline (from Poatina) ... this is today an integral part of our dairy enterprise."
Mr Rigney said that because the water came at a cost, the question was asked as to what would give the best return on investment - the answer was dairy farming.