New England ‘green pasture feedlot’ could make up to $80m

Property editor Linda Rowley, 25/02/2022

The 2688ha Upton Farms aggregation near Walcha is expected to run up to 7000 steers by October


THE sale of Upton Farms on the New England Tablelands could be among the largest cattle property transactions ever seen in New South Wales, with experts anticipating the portfolio will make upwards of $70m and possibly as high as $80m.

The 2668ha backgrounding and fattening operation is capable of carrying 6000 steers or 4000 cows, or 60,000 dry sheep equivalents.

Comprising four nearby farms at Niangala, east of Walcha, they will be offered as a whole or as four separate lots:

  • 408ha Alpha (900 steers or 600 cows or 8976DSE)
  • 524ha Billys Creek & 425ha Foxdale (2100 steers or 1400 cows or 10,480DSE)
  • 675ha Pindari Tops (1400 steers or 900 cows or 13,500DSE)
  • 658ha Brislington is located 18km north of the other four properties, at a lower altitude and rainfall (1650 steers or 1100 cows or 14,476DSE).

The holdings feature heavy red and chocolate basalt soils, high rainfall (ranging from 860mm to 1145mm) and are situated 1200 to 1350m above sea level on top of the Great Dividing Range.

The Upton family purchased Pindari Tops in 1962, followed by Alpha, Foxdale, Billy Creek and more recently Brislington.

The properties were established to high performance fescue and rye-based pasture for the fattening of cattle year-round, allowing the family to provide a regular supply of heavy EU certified grass finished steers to one of Australia’s leading processors.

Owner Greg Upton said given the level of pasture development and the seasonal conditions, the properties should be able to run up to 7000 steers by October.

“I believe the operation will run 7000 steers at an entry weight of 400kg (2.8million kg total) to fatten into high-weight steers. This means there will be a significant draft of finished steers early next year to be sold, allowing for the final sowing of around 440ha of fescue mix pastures,” he said.

Nick Jenkins from Precision Pasture Management Systems has been associated with Upton Pastoral Co for 15 years and a consulting agronomist for the last 10 years.

He said the aggregation boasted some of the region’s best quality grazing country.

“This is due to rainfall, soil fertility (influenced by the consistent application of fertilisers and soil amendments as required) and pasture development technology, combined with comprehensive development vision and implementation by Greg Upton.”

Mr Jenkins said high performance pastures underpinned production on the aggregation.

“Upton Pastoral is a leader in the adoption of new pasture developments. The latest high-producing pastures are planned and planted to gain the best outcome for cattle production, meeting growth requirements of animals and target market specifications.”

Chris Meares from Meares and Associates described Upton Farms as one of the most dynamic premium ‘green pasture feedlots’ in Australia.

“The 2668 hectares comprise wall-to-wall, high performance pastures allowing for the current outstanding carrying capacity, enabling management to run and fatten around one beast per acre, putting on in excess of 300kg of weight per annum.”

Mr Meares said each of the properties was extremely well presented, had excellent fencing and water reserves (spring fed creeks and spring catchment dams) and state-of-the-art cattle management and handling improvements.

He said given the strong demand and a shortage of quality properties for sale, Upton Farms was likely to sell above land market rates.

“It is a unique and dynamic portfolio and I expect the final price will reflect the yields being achieved from such high volume production levels.”

  • The Upton Farms portfolio will be offered for sale via simultaneous online auction commencing on April 13 and closing on April 14.







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