History of Northburn Station
Northburn Station was originally an ‘outstation’ of Morven Hills Station which was taken up by the McLean Family in the 1850’s. Morven Hills ran from Omarama to Clyde to Hawea. Stations in those days were ‘allocated’ if you could prove you were farming it.
James Cowan purchased the grazing licence in 1882 and so Northburn became and entity in its own right. The Middleton family purchased Northburn Station in 1910 for 1000 pounds and they held the property until 1973 when the Lake family purchased it. The Lake family undertook significant development in the 70’s and 80’s with the help of the Land Development Encouragement Loans from the Government of the day.
The Pinckney family purchased Northburn Station in 1993, and added the neighbouring property (Leaning Rock) in 2001. The station is 13,000 hectares, has an average rainfall of around 300 mm and runs a total of 10,000 merinos.
The Station Today
Northburn Station is 13,000 ha (8500 ha Freehold, 2250 ha Pastoral Lease and 2250 ha Private Lease). We run 6500 17 micron Merino ewes and 2000 replacement ewe hoggets (16 micron) and we winter 1000 wether hoggets. Running excess hoggets through the winter gives us the flexibility to de-stock if the climate dictates that we need to.
Most of the ewe wool goes to Icebreaker via New Zealand Merino, with the hogget wool going to China and Italy for the production of fine wool formal suits.
We also run approximately 120 cattle on the station - buying in yearling Hereford or Angus cross steers and taking them through two winters, before selling to export.
The philosophy behind the farming system at Northburn is based on farming in a drought prone area. Therefore we do not overstock the land and consequently do not need to buy in excess amounts of winter feed and other supplements. This keeps costs down and also we have found since dropping our overall stock units from 12000 to 10000 that the animal health is much better and per head production is on the rise.