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Duxton harvest bounces back after flood-hit season

Grain Central, February 2, 2024

Duxton Farms has put Timberscombe at Back Creek near Forbes on the market. Photo: LAWD

AFTER a dismal 2022-23 crop, ASX-listed Duxton Farms has harvested an impressive 52,770 tonnes of winter crop in the harvest just gone, an increase of 539 percent on the previous season.

The agriculture enterprise operates properties at Forbes and Wyalong in New South Wales that were hard hit by flooding in 2022, Natya in Victoria, and Katherine in the Northern Territory.

Overall, the company owns 24,590ha and leases 141,000ha of farming land.

In an update released to the ASX on Thursday, Duxton Farms confirmed it had completed harvest at the end of December, “with operating conditions generally conducive to the company’s activities, if somewhat wetter than would normally have been expected”.

Wheat was the company’s largest crop harvested at 22,897t, up over 400pc from the 2022-23, when only 4324t was harvested.

On barley, production was up more than 750pc from 2517t in 2022-23 to 21,585t in 2023-24.

Unlike the previous season, Duxton was also able to harvest a successful faba bean crop in 2023-24 of 445t.

“The company also performed well when it comes to the quality of the grain harvested; 74pc of the wheat, 75pc of the barley and 100pc of the canola harvested at the NSW aggregation met or exceeded internal baseline standards,” the release said.

Large quantities of barley straw have been baled to support the company’s livestock program, and for sale off farm, while spraying has commenced on fallow country post-harvest.

At Duxton’s leased holding Mountain Valley Station in NT, forage sorghum was planted last month to support the livestock program.

A large planter was also sent to the station to facilitate the development of its cropping plan.

Duxton also stressed that the 2022-23 result and year-on-year increases should not be seen as indicative of what can be achieved at the properties but a result of the “severity of the 2022 flood events”.

“Over the agricultural cycle, the company and the investment manager would expect the portfolio to reliably produce yields approximately within a 20pc band of this year’s figure.”

Duxton Farms is in the process of marketing its 8432ha Timberscombe property which, if sold, will reduce the company’s winter-cropping program by about half.

In its 2023 Annual Report to Shareholders, Duxton Farms reported a net loss after tax of $10,089,000.

The company is expecting earnings for FY24 to be materially higher than in FY23, which can be attributed to the fact that the portfolio operated in regular conditions without any significant impediments.

At this stage, the company’s revenue is expected to be between three and four times higher than in the previous corresponding period, and the company expects to have positive earnings as a result.

Source: Duxton Farms

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