Coldstream Estate is run as a mixed farm. Paddocks are rotated between pasture, fodder, cereal, seed and vegetable crops.
The livestock enterprise consists of 1700 commercial Corriedale breeding ewes with lambs finished for export. The sheep produce about 12,000 kilograms of wool each year varying from 23-28 micron, which is sold mostly for apparel manufacture..
The cropping enterprise involves mostly wheat and barley sold to a wide range of uses. Specialist seed crops are being added to the crop rotation as well as ground leased out for potatoes. Seed crops include carrot, red beet, rape, clover, peas, broccoli and ryegrass.
The farm has a combination of dryland and irrigated pastures. It has six centre-pivot irrigators which derive their water from the Rangitata Diversion Race (RDR), a district wide scheme opened in 1945 to irrigate 66,000ha of farmland, as well.. The remainder of the property is dryland.
Conservation has always played an significant part at Coldstream. The deep rooted pastures species combined with the cropping rotation that involves pasture grazed by stock has been improving the soil organic matter for many years. Great care is taken with cultivation of the lighter soils, following a minimum tillage and no-tillage systems.
The large variety of trees at Coldstream play an important role for stock shelter and to provide ecological biodiversity on the property. While a mixture of both New Zealand natives and exotic trees are planted, Deodar Cedars, Eucalyptus and English Oaks have proved to thrive under our conditions.
In a joint project with Environment Canterbury specialist native riparian plantings have been added in recent years which are hoped will become a haven for wildlife. Some of the stock shelter belts are on a mill-and-replace timber rotation and some are permanent.