Weekly Property Review: Recent property listings

Property Editor Linda Rowley, 23/08/2023

THIS week’s property review includes this wrap-up of interesting recent listings across the country.

  • $90m+ for NSW’s Sunshine Farms Aggregation
  • New benchmark anticipated for SA grazing
  • Qld’s Robina Downs attracts institutional enquiry
  • Peel River country hits the market after 130 years
  • CQ breeding block lists for the first time
  • Bells offload central western NSW country
  • Western land lease sale will end 95 years of ownership
  • Formal tenders for CQ’s relisted Glendarriwell
  • Eyre Peninsula portfolio set to change hands

$90m+ for NSW’s Sunshine Farms Aggregation

More than $90 million is anticipated for grazing and irrigated and dryland cropping country with almost 15,000ML of water entitlements in the Lachlan Valley of New South Wales.

The AAM Investment Group is offloading 14,075ha across five non-contiguous holdings (within a 25km radius), near Forbes in the state’s Central West.

AAM stepped into mixed farming in January 2020 with the purchase of the adjoining 4820ha Sunshine and the 1643ha Round Cowal for around $16m.

Since then, it has added the 2835ha Bergen Park, 1111ha Warili and 3666ha Glencoe to the portfolio.

Managing director Garry Edwards said Sunshine Farms was the first strategic land and development acquisition of the AAM Diversified Agriculture Fund.

“The aggregation was foundational to the implementation of ADAF’s philosophy of diversity across supply chains and geographic locations.”

“With access to water entitlements from the Jemalong Irrigation Scheme, the properties offered potential that could be realised through management at scale and strategic capital development programs, including infrastructure improvement and change of land use,” Mr Edwards explained.

The divestment of Sunshine Farms will support the AAM’s continued growth and further investment in diverse agricultural assets.

The aggregation has high-quality clay loam soils that grow cotton, wheat, barley, faba beans and fodder to support beef, wool and prime lamb production.

The combined 14,766ML of water entitlements comprises 11,556ML from the Jemalong Irrigation Scheme, 2050ML from the Lachlan River and 1160ML of Upper Lachlan Alluvial groundwater. These are supported by 300ML of on-farm storage.

LAWD agent Danny Thomas said AAM executed an acquisition and development plan to create scale rarely seen in the area.

“The area west of the Newell Highway has been undervalued due to lack of scale. AAM has created a large aggregation and applied precision development and management strategies to take these properties to their highest and best use.”

Mr Thomas is expecting strong buyer enquiry.

“Institutional investors are currently leading demand for Australian agricultural assets in the greater than $50m market segment.”

The Sunshine Farms Aggregation is available for sale via expressions of interest closing on October 5.

New benchmark anticipated for SA grazing

One of the largest grazing properties in South Australia’s south-east is being offloaded by an overseas-based family after 25 years of ownership.

The 4326ha Fairview is located at Lucindale and comprises six contiguous properties – Old Fairview, Lantara, Wombalano, Keys, Watson’s and Mickan’s.

Colliers Agribusiness agents Jesse Manuel and Tim Altschwager have been appointed to sell the property via an expression of interest campaign closing on September 26.

The agents believe the holding will generate significant enquiry.

“Fairview is well located and accessible to markets. It offers versatility and an excellent balance of country types, as well as scale. Strong local interest is anticipated from within the tightly held district and nationally, including corporate buyers.”

Fairview director Grantley Stevens is confident the sale will set new benchmarks for the south-east region.

“Premium land of this size and versatility is a long-term investment. Land sales in the region are currently making $14,500/ha to $20,000/ha so it will be interesting to see what the market determines.”

At those rates, Fairview will make between $64 million and $86 million on a bare basis.

The property is described as well balanced with open heavy flats, warmer hills and timbered grazing country, as well as vast areas of improved pastures.

It is running a self-replacing cattle herd of black Angus and Angus/Black Simmental cross cows and a mostly Merino ewe flock using Suffolk and Dorset rams.

Mr Manuel said Fairview is totally self-sufficient in terms of its year-round stock feed requirements, with 130ha planted for fodder production.

Fairview farm manager Marc Dupree believes there is significant potential to increase the overall carrying capacity of the property.

“When I arrived in 2004, Fairview was running more than 14,000 sheep and around 1000 breeders, however the average annual stocking has been reduced to around 25,000DSE due to recent extensive soil redevelopment projects.”

The measures included deep ripping sub-surface rock in the plains country for pasture roots to access clay and claying the lighter hills country to increase soil moisture retention.

Mr Dupree said most of the property is now back in production.

“Fairview has been understocked but with the potential to improve more of the country and pastures, livestock numbers can be significantly lifted moving forward.”

Situated in a 600mm average annual rainfall region, Fairview benefits from over 1000ML of water entitlements for irrigation, with 25ha developed to flood irrigation.

It is also watered by solar and electric bores (with a handful of windmills still in use), with underground water pumped to header tanks and reticulated to troughs.

Qld’s Robina Downs attracts institutional enquiry

After four excellent seasons, Nyngan producers Jack and Dione Carter have listed the exclusion fenced Robina Downs in south-west Queensland.

The 13,780ha are situated 25km from Noorama and 131km south-east of Cunnamulla, in the renowned ‘salad bowl’ region.

The Carters purchased Robina in August 2019 for drought relief due to dry conditions in north-western New South Wales. What followed was four impressive floods from the Noorama Creek.

During their ownership, the couple has been running a mixed sheep and goat enterprise with a 7000DSE rating or 8000 to 10,000 goats.

With a return to more normal seasons, the regular, safe, beneficial flood out grazing country is now surplus to the Carter’s requirements.

Nutrien Harcourts agent Darryl Langton said there has been solid enquiry from a range of buyers.

“The balance of soil types, diverse pastures and plentiful water are attracting locals, producers from Goondiwindi to northern New South Wales, as well as upsizing institutional type investors.”

Mr Langton said grazing sales in Cunnamulla’s salad bowl have been far and few.

“The last property I sold in the region was around 12 months ago and that achieved $156/ac. Robina Downs is expected to achieve more.”

Dark soils across 70 percent of Robina Downs grow a mix of Mitchell, Flinders and native grasses and prolific herbages (in season) along the Noorama Creek flood out country.

The balance consists of red loam soils growing buffel and native grasses.

Robina Downs is watered by a 300ML irrigation licence, three capped artesian bores which deliver water to tanks and 30 troughs and dams.

It is being offered for sale by expressions of interest closing on September 15.

Peel River country hits the market after 130 years

Descendants of the Vickery family are ending more than 130 years of ownership of Swanton and Menedebri on the Peel River in northern New South Wales.

The 1071ha Swanton and 759ha Menedebri are non-contiguous but are located close to Somerton, 37km from Tamworth and 41km from Gunnedah.

Some of the 1830ha of mixed farming country has been owned by the Vickery family since the 1890s.

The properties are being offered by the Morgan and Benn families and include 849ML of water licences.

Swanton and Menedebri boast 7.3km of Peel River frontage and are used primarily for sheep, cattle, grain and fodder production.

The vendors have been running a self-replacing breeding enterprise with a carrying capacity of 1370 mixed cattle or 1665 adult equivalents, or 16,650 dry sheep equivalents.

Around 87 percent of the property is arable with deep alluvial soils adjacent to the Peel River, as well as red and grey loams.

Situated in a 615mm average annual rainfall area, water on Swanton and Menedebri is supplied by equipped bores connected to tanks and reticulated to troughs in all paddocks.

The properties are well fenced, with 6km of new fencing installed in the last five years.

Swanton and Menedebri are being offered as a single aggregation or as separate parcels via an expression of interest process closing on October 10.

The sale is being handled by David Goodfellow from Koranui and Simon Fritsch from Agripath.

CQ breeding block lists for the first time

A safe breeding block in Queensland’s Central Highlands is attracting strong enquiry from producers across the state keen to supplement their finishing country.

The 3249ha Green Valley has been listed for the first time by members of the Hoy family after four generations of ownership.

Situated near Bogantungan, 100km west of Emerald, the country features a mix of native and improved pastures that can run 500 cows.

Brock Palmer from Ray White Rural said after good rain in early July, the property is carrying a solid body of feed that is now haying off.

Situated in a 660mm annual average rainfall area, Green Valley is watered by multiple dams, bores, seasonal creeks and a large lagoon.

Green Valley will be auctioned on October 6.

Bells offload central western NSW country

Between $5.5 million and $6 million is anticipated for a mixed organic livestock grazing and dryland farming enterprise in New South Wales’ Central West.

The 8419ha Wirchilleba is 53km north of Mount Hope and 111km south of Cobar.

It is being sold by Phillip and Vanessa Bell who own the large-scale cattle breeding property Cooplacurripa Station between Gloucester and Nowendoc in northern New South Wales.

The country on Wirchilleba is described as highly regarded soft grazing with the fertile soils growing a variety of natives including copper burr, barley grass, cotton bush and clovers.

The property is carrying a good body of dry summer grass, with winter herbages in abundance supporting 850 cows and followers.

The well-developed, open cropping country is flat to slightly undulating with heavy red clay to sandy loams. There are 2633ha of mixed organic dryland farming with 1200ha sown to lucerne.

Watered by eight dams, two bores and 9ML of water entitlements, Wirchilleba benefits from a 6km flow from the Burthong Creek.

It will be auctioned on September 13 by Nutrien Russell Property & Livestock.

Western land lease sale will end 95 years of ownership

After 95 years of family ownership, Mark McMullan is selling the New South Wales Western Lands Lease Stoney Ridge as he heads towards retirement.

The 3315ha, 50km south of Brewarrina and 150km north of Nyngan, are being sold bare of stock and is likely to achieve around $543/ha to $568/ha.

Described as good quality country, it comprises 50 percent medium to open timbered grazing with heavier grey and black soils adjoining the Bogan River.

The balance is more naturally open with a beneficial mix of timbers, including myall, whitewood, leopardwood and rosewood, with lighter grey to chocolate soils.

The country grows a mix of grasses and herbages and is rated to carry 1500 ewes or 150 cows in an average season, or 2000 ewes or 200 cows in better seasons.

Stoney Ridge has 4km of Bogan River frontage, a large waterhole that has never run dry, four dams and two lagoons.

Moree Real Estate agent Dianne Kelly is offering the property by online auction opening on September 25 and closing on September 28.

Formal tenders for CQ’s relisted Glendarriwell

The Prewett family’s versatile mixed grazing and cropping operation in Queensland’s Central Highlands has returned to the market and is being offered for sale by a formal tender process.

The 3893ha Glendarriwell is situated near Anakie Siding, 42km south-west of Emerald, with around half of the property used for grazing and the open black soil downs used for dryland cultivation.

The grass country and crop stubbles support a cattle breeding enterprise however forage crops could be planted for growing out weaner cattle to feedlot entry weights or taken through to finished slaughter levels.

Glendarriwell is watered by five equipped bores and a dam supplying eight tanks and seven troughs.

The formal tender is being handled by Greg Roberts from Frank Knight Agribusiness and closes on September 27.

Eyre Peninsula portfolio set to change hands

Around $20 million is expected for the Allen family’s portfolio of properties on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

Spanning almost 14,000ha across seven properties, the portfolio comprises two distinct hubs – a 9240ha grazing block and 4572ha of farming land.

Yeltana Station is situated 35km north-east of Kimba and is rated at 970 dry sheep equivalents.

Historically, Jason and Sonia Allen together with Trent and Laura Allen have run a mixed operation of 5500 dorper ewes plus replacements, 100 cattle and 80 horses.

The cropping country consists of six holdings – Wannamanna, Allen Park, Woolfords, Panitya, Wudinna East and Jasons Block which are located in Wudinna, Kyancutta and Panitya.

Some of the properties have been held by the Allen Family for up to six generations, with Albert James Allen purchasing the first property in 1911 and the family continuing to acquire properties over the past 110 years.

CBRE Agribusiness agent Phil Schell is managing the sale via a two-stage expressions of interest campaign closing on September 14.

Interest is coming from local farming families, out-of-district producers and city-based investors.



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