This week’s property review focuses on some significant recent sales and noteworthy early 2018 listings. With exceptionally dry conditions still impacting large parts of eastern Australia, vendors emphasising available feed, and buyers chasing grass has been a trend noted in recent transactions and listings…
Recent sales: New South Wales
Family farmers seeking expansion have secured two grazing properties in the renowned New England region of northern New South Wales.
The Clark family from Glencoe paid $4.3m for 780ha Mt Slow Station, a near neighbouring breeding block boasting regularly fertilised pastures and reliable rainfall. It has traditionally and conservatively carried 300 to 350 breeding cow equivalents plus retained some yearlings to grow out.
Meantime, the Matthewson family purchased the adjoining 201ha fattening property Beardy View, located 18km south of Glen Innes at the head of the Furracabad Valley with frontage to Beardy Waters, for $1.675m.
Jim Ritchie from Landmark Harcourts said the property features superbly pastured, watered and fertilised fattening country which also enjoys the trifecta of basalt soils, altitude and high rainfall.
“There were 16 registered buyers for the two auctions with interest from the Hunter Valley in NSW to Queensland – most chasing grass. Prices were solid and above the reserve,” he said.
The vendors, Kevin and Ann Cuneen, are retiring and have already sold their livestock and conducted a clearing sale.
Also in the New England, Queensland’s Kahmoo Pastoral Co, home to the Australian White sheep breed and a producer of stud rams, is believed to have paid $5.2m for the 1538ha Inverell property Rockleigh.
Tamworth selling agent Peter Etheridge said the property is situated in a safe 875mm rainfall location and is well-watered with a 60mgl irrigation licence, two new bores and dams.
“Heavy chocolate basalt soils cover 80 percent of Rockleigh and an elevation of 750m to 900m allow the development of more temperate pastures species and the property enjoys a longer growing season than areas further west.”
Rockleigh is estimated to run 650 breeding cattle.
Purchaser Kym Thomas and her family have run livestock on Kahmoo at Cunnamulla, in south-west Queensland, for five generations – since 1911. More than 12 months ago, Kym and her son Tony Reid decided to purchase a block for water and grass, after failing to secure local country to agist or lease.
“The drought has slashed ewe numbers from 15,000 head in 2013 to 3700 today. After running climate forecasts and looking at different soils, we settled on Rockleigh. It has secure water and we don’t have to fight kangaroos every day,” Ms Thomas said.
Kahmoo will continue to breed Australian Whites, while Rockleigh will be used to run ewes.
An Australian consortium has paid $11.8m (including plant and equipment) for the large-scale grazing and cropping property, Petro Station, in south-western New South Wales.
The 26,685ha property, located 60km north of Mildura and held under NSW Western Lands lease, was offered for the first time in 73 years by the Doyle Family.
Selling agent Jason Lawler from the Professionals said Petro Station is divided into 17,500ha grazing land and 9000ha sandy loam cropping country.
The property has a further 200ha cropping licence undeveloped, with the balance comprising pristine Mallee scrub and locked up conservation in conjunction with the Department of Infrastructure and Natural Resources.
Petro has seven dams and a permanent 21 ml water entitlement with private diversion from the Darling River via a 32km pipeline.
Mr Lawler said the sale showed a value of more than $900/ha for well-regarded arable land, in an area with an average rainfall of 290mm.
The remaining 800 Dorper on Petro Station will be destocked by the new owners, who plan to grow wheat.
Properties for sale: Victoria
As mentioned late last week on Beef Central, one of Victoria’s largest cattle stations has hit the market with price expectations well above $35m plus stock value.
Cobungra Station, in Victoria’s East Gippsland high country, is a large-scale, highly productive landholding covering 31,000ha of freehold and leased grazing land west of Omeo, adjacent to Mt Hotham airport and the Alpine ski fields.
Comprising 6488ha freehold and alpine leases of 24,512ha, Cobungra is currently operated as a Fullblood Wagyu and crossbred Angus x Hereford breeding enterprise, running more than 4000 cows plus replacements.
Cobungra Station is being offered for sale by CBRE and Elders on a walk-in-walk-out basis, including land, improvements, plant and equipment and livestock.
There’s been tremendous interest from the market for Two Up, a small freehold grazing property in Queensland’s Dawson Valley that is well grassed with buffel and natural pastures, following recent rain.
Located 5km south-west of Taroom, the property is being sold by Landmark Harcourts in two portions of 1054ha and 129ha, on March 1.
Selling agent Darryl Langton said two weeks ago, six inches of rain fell, so the destocked property has a good body of feed.
“It is highly improved, high-value and heavy carrying country. A number of properties in that region have sold well in excess of $2500/ha and I’d be expecting Two Up to achieve much the same,” he said.
Mr Langton said there had been very good local and outside interest, including buyers looking for feed.
“Good high-quality fattening country is always keenly sought after. Buyer enquiry is coming from producers in Queensland’s western corridor seeking some feed relief from the dry to drought conditions. There has also been interest from Central Queensland down to Goondiwindi and the border regions,” he said.
Two Up is tick-free and has an estimated carrying capacity of 450 mixed steers.
A highly-improved cattle property located close to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast is attracting stud breeder interest.
Located in the renowned Colinton region, 1386ha Kokopelli, half an hour west of Kilcoy, can carry 300 breeders with the option to grain-finish progeny using an existing feed mill.
With 900mm annual rainfall, the property boasts improved pastures, in a region rich in natural beauty.
According to Andrew Costello* (Editor’s note: Costello mis-spelt in the original version of this article – apologies Andrew) from Landmark Harcourts, Kokopelli has already attracted interest from a prominent Santa Gertrudis stud breeder and another who runs a Brangus operation.
“It is rare that a quality property of this size comes up with 140km of Brisbane. It has conservatively run 300 breeders plus progeny, but could easily carry up to 500 head,” he said.
Kokopelli is on the market for $4.5m, with cattle, machinery and plant available to the successful buyer.
New South Wales
A 2000 head feedlot, with approval to expand to 5000 head, is expected to make more than $4m when it is auctioned next month.
The 203ha Haino Park, located 15km west of Finley in the heart of New South Wales’ Riverina, was a lucerne farm before being transformed into a feedlot eight years ago by the Everingham family.
It joins a list of 11 other commercial feedlots that are for sale, or have been sold, over recent years.
Selling agent Nathan Everingham from NE & Co said each week 200 cattle enter the feedlot and 200 finished cattle were sold.
“Haino Park is in an ideal location with close proximity to large selling centres, abattoirs and grain. The slightly drier environment also optimises stock performance.”
The facility has reliable water supplied by a 220mg/l groundwater licence with sufficient water to service the feedlot operation to its full licenced capacity of 5000 head.
Haino Park is to be offered for auction on March 2.
Meares and Associates is auctioning the historic cattle breeding and fattening property Prestwick, located on the scenic ‘high country’ of New England in northern New South Wales.
Sitting on top of the Great Dividing Range, the 1171ha property is 35km south of Walcha and 65km from Tamworth.
The property has 785ha of cleared grazing country and is rated to carry 500 breeding cows. Prestwick is currently carrying 450 breeding cows and calves with 80 replacements or 10,000 dry sheep equivalents (8.5 DSE/ha). With further clearing and pasture improvements, it is estimated that carrying capacity could be expanded further.
Boasting rich red basalt soils and 900-1000mm rainfall, it ranges from wide open valleys to some steeper hill country and is well watered with a 2.5km frontage to Mulla Creek and 31 large spring-fed dams.
Principal Chris Meares said in a period when quality high-rainfall cattle breeding and fattening properties are scarce, Prestwick provided an excellent opportunity to purchase a quality working cattle property with scale, in an excellent location.
Today, Prestwick is owned by Roger Grant who, over the past 12 months, has outlaid considerable time and expense upgrading the property.
“The improvements overall are a feature. Roger has renovated the homestead, increased the machinery and hayshed capacity, installed a first-class large-scale set of all-steel cattle yards and two efficient laneway systems leading to the northern and western paddocks,” Mr Meares explained.
He believes Prestwick would appeal to producers seeking safe, higher rainfall country or an off-farm investor.
The property will be sold via an online auction commencing April 4 and closing on April 5. Price expectations are between $5.5m and $6m.
A small farming and grazing property including a historic homestead north of Hobart may well have set a national record, or sorts. Built in 1842, the homestead on Leintwardine and surrounding land in the Derwent River Valley has been in the original family’s ownership for 175 years.
Set within a 103ha farming/grazing property that has been heavily subdivided over the past two centuries, the five-bedroom Georgian homestead features numerous fireplaces, some original stone floors and formal living areas. There is also a swimming pool and tennis court set in English style gardens, and outbuildings including a caretaker’s cottage. Knight Frank is asking $1.5m.
We’d like to hear from readers if they can offer a challenger for a longer unbroken period of rural property ownership within one family in Australia.