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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Drainage a Permanent Improvement

Drainage a Permanent Improvement.

Ruakura Farm of Demonstration and Instruction has an area of 914 acres, the greater part of which is reclaimed swamp. The large amount of money expended on drainage work is an outlay which, from a business point of view, could fairly be spread over a considerable term of years, as constituting a permanent improvement. The effects of the drainage works, moreover, in bringing the land into full agricultural profit have not yet had time to make themselves felt over a considerable proportion of the farm. After the swamps have been drained the land has to be laboriously cleared of quantities of timber in the shape of buried stumps and logs, the encumbering wreckage of dead forests, which at one time covered the whole country. All this has added to the difficulties and cost of bringing the land into profitable use, and we might quite legitimately from a business standpoint, not expect a full return of the capital thus expended for several years to come, or even full interest upon the expenditure. And yet if the property were sold this year the Government would be recouped more than the whole of its outlay. No doubt this is partly due to the rapid rise in the market value of land in this district. But, nevertheless, the fact remains that as an asset this State farm is worth to-day considerably more than it cost the Government.