Canadian fund, Aussie farmer JV buys Ballandry

Grain Central, November 15, 2023

The Ballandry aggregation annually crops 21,833ha. Photo: CBRE

POULTRY pioneer David Bartter has sold his 26,839ha Ballandry aggregation north of Griffith to a joint venture between an Australian farmer and a Canadian investment fund, according to a statement from CBRE.

Operating as Excel Farms and based in Ararat, Victoria, its managing director is Nick Paterson, whose family, along with Canadian partner Fiera Comox, are the stakeholders.

Ballandry has an annual cropping program of 21,833ha, and comprises 16 dryland cropping properties amalgamated over the past 40 years by Mr Bartter, who acted on the theory that neighboring land typically only becomes available once in a generation, if at all.

Ballandry soils have benefitted from regular fertiliser and liming, as well as a long-running program incorporating chicken manure.

Cropping rotations on the properties now include wheat, barley, canola, lupins, field peas, and vetch, with average annual rainfall pegged at 424mm.

Mr Bartter said Ballandry’s long-term wheat yields of 2.5 tonnes per hectare has lifted to more than 3t/ha in recent years.

“By improving the soils, we are now able to grow crops with much higher yields on less rainfall than what we have ever been able to do before,” Mr Bartter said.

Ballandry was purchased on a walk-in-walk-out basis, including 45,457 Murrumbidgee Irrigation Delivery Entitlements, and the 2023 crop.

CBRE Agribusiness associate director Boo Harvey said the aggregation represented a sizeable foothold in New South Wales’ Riverina region.

“We wish the purchasers every success in the future,” Ms Harvey said.

“They have secured one of the largest cropping properties in the region and we look forward to watching Ballandry enter its next chapter under this new stewardship.”

The overall Ballandry offering includes 20,000 tonnes of grain and fertiliser storage as well as machinery sheds, workshops, plant and equipment.

The sale price of Ballandry has not been made public, but an unofficial expectation was seen at around $120 million when CBRE listed it in June.

Ballandry listed with Ray White Rural International in 2018, and then with Nutrien Harcourts Griffith and Rivwater & Property in 2021.



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