BP, Nicoletti buyers in WA; new high for Blackville

Linda Rowley, May 5, 2023

The Anderson family sold their Liverpool Plains farm Ngoora at auction to neighbours the Nankivell family. Photo: Meares & Associates

THE private sale of two large-scale Western Australian properties, Daisy Downs and Cheriton Farms, and a stellar result at auction for Ngoora on the Liverpool Plains of New South Wales are evidence that demand for cropping country remains strong.

Of the three sales reported here in this week’s property review, energy giant BP’s Low Carbon Australia has paid the most, outlaying $23 million for Daisy Downs, a cropping property with a carbon opportunity.

The 22,568ha holding is located north of Mullewa, 120km from Geraldton in the WA’s mid-west.

Ray White Rural agent Simon Wilding was unable to disclose the buyer or the price paid, but said it was a record price for the Mullewa district.

“It was a very strong marketing campaign with good interest from several corporates seeking to expand their nearby holdings,” Mr Wilding said.

Daisy Downs was listed in December last year by Perth-based corporate investor PenAgri, who said the property was surplus to its requirements.

At the time, Mr Wilding said the property’s sizable cropping program had the potential to yield a very profitable outcome if expanded.

He also said the non-arable portion would be suitable for a carbon project.

The country on Daisy Downs features mostly red loam soils with high yielding capacity, alongside some yellow sandplains.

It was offered with extensive infrastructure including a five-bedroom home, numerous silos and sheds.

Nicoletti adds Cheriton Farms to portfolio

Prominent farmer John Nicoletti has paid $10M for Cheriton Farms in WA’s eastern wheatbelt.

The 7329ha mixed dryland cropping and grazing property is situated at South Yilgarn, 80km from Southern Cross and 90km from Hyden, in the renowned Holleton region.

It neighbours some of Mr Nicoletti’s existing country.

LAWD’s William Morris was unable to disclose the name of the purchaser or the price paid, but said Cheriton Farms attracted strong national inquiry ranging from corporate entities to farming families.

The property offers a balance of productive land classes suited to broad hectare cropping pursuits, as well as livestock production.

Farmed by the current owners since the 1970s, the original holding has been expanded with the addition of neighbouring holdings.

Around 84 percent of Cheriton Farms is arable, with the owners adopting a one-in-two-out cropping rotation system designed to optimise the use of resources and maximise productivity.

Under this system, around 2000ha is annually cropped to wheat, oats or lupins, while the balance is grazed by 1500 ewes and lambs.

Water is secured by 14 dams and an extensive network of tanks and troughs.

The sale of Cheriton Farms included an extensive list of farming infrastructure including 11 grain silos.

John Nicoletti has bought Cheriton Farms in WA’s eastern wheatbelt. Photo: LAWD

Blackville farm exceeds reserve by $2M

The Nankivell family has paid a district record $8.89M for the Liverpool Plains farm Ngoora, ending 35 years of ownership by the Andersons, and adding 571ha to the Nankivells’ existing holding in the district.

Ngoora is located near Blackville, 53km west of Quirindi and 65km west of Willow Tree in northern NSW.

The Liverpool Plains is one of Australia’s premium cropping regions, and produces yields of up to 6t/ha for wheat, 3t/ha for canola and around 8t/ha for sorghum.

Cotton is now also grown in the area.

The auction of Ngoora attracted nine registered buyers, with seven parties participating on the day.

After 92 bids, the result was more than $2M above the reserve.

Agent Chris Meares from Meares & Associates said it has been two years since a reasonable-sized holding was offered for sale in the area.

“Ngoora generated tremendous local interest and was the first real test of what land values are in the Liverpool Plains.”

At $22,000/ha, Mr Meares said the sale set a new benchmark for prime dryland farming country on the Liverpool Plains.

“This means secondary farming is now valued at $12,500/ha and grazing country at around $7500/ha.”

Mr Meares said historically, the late Jim Anderson share-farmed around 260ha and grazed cattle on the balance of the country.

“Ngoora comprises 260ha of some of the best dryland farming land on the Liverpool Plains, 120ha of secondary basalt farming country, with the balance being soft basalt grazing country capable of carrying 2000DSE.”

Ngoora was sold with a three-bedroom home and 600 tonnes of grain storage.


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