Carmya lists, Prairie sells in lively northern market

Liz Wells, July 12, 2021

Carmya is to be offered via an online auction. Photo: JLL

THE appetite for summer and winter-cropping country with supplementary irrigation remains strong, and is bringing fast sales and more listings to the market in the often quiet winter period.

Among the latest listings is the 953-hectare Carmya in the New South Wales-Queensland Border Rivers region, which JLL will be offering through an online auction in early August.

The vendors are California’s Doherty brothers, who bought the property in 2015 from long-time owners the Durkin family.

Their ownership pattern mirrors that of Westchester, which bought the Prairie aggregation on the Darling Downs as part of the wind-up of PrimeAg for a reported $25 million.

In recent weeks, the 4392ha Prairie at Jondaryan has sold for an unconfirmed $52 million to average around $12,000/ha and a high of $15,000/ha.

While below the record of $22,480/ha set in March by Zephyr, a 122ha block with a 93-megalitre entitlement at nearby Norwin, the Prairie values are in line with recent district sales.

Prairie returned to locals

After being leased under Westchester ownership, the Prairie aggregation has been broken up and returned to six different local owner-operators who are all looking forward to an excellent summer-cropping season.

The entire Darling Downs region can grow wheat, barley and other winter crops, but cotton, corn and sorghum grown over summer are the income drivers for its growers.

Grain Central understands their enthusiasm to secure extra country ahead of the summer-crop planting window opening in coming weeks expedited the sale of Prairie.

Westchester’s sale of Prairie follows its sale late last year of the Southern Riverina Aggregation to local farming families.

Westchester remains one of the largest owners of Australian farmland, and has irrigation and dryland assets leased to operators in every mainland state bar South Australia.

Its parent Nuveen is linked to the US Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, and also has agricultural assets in North and South America, Europe and New Zealand.

Prairie had been leased as three separate hubs: St Ruth, Colonsay and Prentices.

The St Ruth hub includes Prairie’s irrigated country, a 1009ML ring tank and a 252ML groundwater licence.

The Prairie offering was sold via an expressions-of-interest campaign.

Agents JLL confirmed that Prairie’s components had sold and settled, but declined to comment further.

River frontage

Carmya is located in New South Wales, approximately 37 kilometres south-east of Goondiwindi, and has 4.5km of Macintyre River frontage.

It features quality improvements for mixed farming and summer and winter cropping, with deep black floodplain and brigalow-belah country.

Carmya is currently leased until completion of the winter-crop harvest, and the lease could be extended under the new owner.



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