IT’S been revealed that prominent Victoria Wagyu breeder and supply chain manager David Blackmore and family are the new owners of the Haino Park feedlot, situated near Finley in the heart of southern NSW’s Riverina.
The property, pictured above, was purchased prior to auction last month, but no buyer was disclosed at the time.
Haino Park is currently built to 2000 head capacity but has approval to expand to 5000 head, which provided a strong drawcard. Located 15km west of Finley, Haino Park was a 203ha lucerne farm that was transformed into a feedlot eight years ago by the Everingham family.
The facility has reliable water supplied by a 220mg/l groundwater licence sufficient water to service the feedlot operation to its full licenced capacity of 5000 head.
It is situated in an ideal location with close proximity to large selling centres, abattoirs and grain, with 200 domestic trade cattle currently entering and exiting the feedlot each week.
No sale price was disclosed, but earlier expectations were for a price north of $4 million. Selling agent Nathan Everingham from NE & Co said the eventual price paid was ‘very attractive.’
“Haino Park is a very tidy feedlot and its approval for expansion drew strong interest particularly from those in the feedlot industry,” he said.
Blackmore Wagyu principal, David Blackmore who recently purchased a second grazing property at Benalla, in NSW, has confirmed that his business is the new owner.
“It’s a very well designed and set up feedlot and will suit our purposes perfectly,” he said.
In coming weeks, remaining Blackmore feeder cattle being fed at Peechelba Beef feedlot will be relocated to the new site. The Blackmores are shifting their existing feedmill from their property at Alexandra, near Melbourne, to the Haino Park site, converting grain processing from basic dry rolling to tempered rolled grain. Over time, the plan is to expand the site to its full 5000 head capacity, under the management of Mr Blackmore’s son and new CEO, Ben.
One of the Haino Park yard’s unusual features is solid roofing over the pens.
Vendors Jamie and Belinda Everingham have agreed to stay on for some time to manage the transition.
Mr Blackmore said his business’s Alexandra property was now used exclusively for backgrounding, removing the ongoing battles his business has had over landuse on Melbourne’s peri-urban fringe for some years. In contrast, Haino Park is surrounded by large, intensive livestock ventures. The second Benalla property, now used exclusively for breeding, will carry 600-700 breeding cows, before further development.
“Lifestyle encroachment is a real issue for agriculture in Victoria,” Mr Blackmore said. “If you leave Melbourne, you can be nearly anywhere in Victoria in two hours, so that landuse pressure is not going to go away,” he said.
He said he had gotten ‘sick of fighting’ over alternate landuse at his Alexandra property. Seven Victorian state regulatory bodies had given approval for his original Alexandra intensive beef project to go ahead; the shire’s own planning department had approved the project; but the council’s only justification for rejecting it was that it was “affecting the amenity of neighbours.”
Between Blackmore’s three holdings at Benalla, Alexandra and the new feedlot property at Finley, it now managed some 500ha (1200ac) of irrigation, providing extra security against unseasonal weather conditions.
With the development and the addition of the Finley feedlot property, the Blackmore Wagyu business will comfortably do 65-70 600-day long fed carcases per month, with the goal being to expand to 100 carcases per month.