CQ’s Picardy lists, Wilga Downs negotiations under way

Linda Rowley, May 8, 2023

Picardy Station at Dysart is owned by Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund and is on the market. Photo: LAWD

ONE of Central Queensland’s bigger dryland cropping properties has returned to the market with a $50-million price tag.

The 10,619ha Picardy Station, situated 10km east of Dysart in the Isaac region, failed to sell in June 2021 after being offered for sale via an expressions-of-interest campaign.

Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund purchased the holding in 2017 from Augathella’s Purvis family for a reported $27M, and is seeking to redeploy the capital into another project.

The $50M price tag reflects the heady appreciation in land values of recent years and the property’s impressive cropping credentials.

During its six-year ownership, Tiverton has transformed Picardy from a cattle-breeding and finishing property to a large-scale cropping enterprise growing sorghum in summer, chickpeas over winter and cover crops to build soil carbon in a regenerative agronomic system.

Cereals and dryland cotton could be also added to the 7819ha dryland cropping rotation.

The 2800ha balance is used for grazing, with cattle currently agisted along the drainage lines that are securely watered and fenced off from the cultivation area.

LAWD agent Col Medway said Picardy boasts some of the best soil types along Australia’s east coast.

“The highly productive, deep self-mulching clays have a well above average Cation Exchange Capacity (the amount of nutrient a soil can hold) ranging from 27 to 60meq/100g.”

Mr Medway is already fielding interest from institutional investors and large-scale mixed-farming groups.

“Picardy Station is located in a summer-dominant rainfall region that has a low correlation with other major grain-growing areas.

“It would be a complementary asset to existing players building a portfolio of cropping assets.”

Mr Medway said the potential to build further soil carbon is also seen as significant.

“Increasing soil carbon is a buffer against dry periods, with even a 1-per-cent increase in soil organic carbon allowing country to hold an additional 150,000 litres/ha of moisture in the top 10cm.”

Since the last marketing campaign, Picardy Station has been baseline assessed in preparation for a sequestration project.

Picardy Station’s operational efficiencies are enhanced by fit-for-purpose operational improvements, a strategic field layout, an internal road network and well-located filling points for spraying.

The infrastructure is described as outstanding and includes 5300t of grain storage, machinery, chemical and storage sheds, cattle yards, a two-bedroom manager’s residence and workers quarters.

Negotiations under way for Wilga Downs

Wilga Downs in New South Wales’ central west has failed to sell at auction, with David Leeds from Border Real Estate and Phil Wallace from Nutrien Harcourts now negotiating with interested parties.

The 3665ha are situated north of Hermidale, midway between Cobar and Nyngan.

Wilga Downs was offered to the market by Jason Sheather after more than 40 years of ownership.

It passed in at auction at $4.975M, just short of the reserve.

Recently, Mr Sheather offloaded the adjoining 3899ha Kooregah Station which he operated in conjunction with Wilga Downs as a mixed cropping and grazing enterprise.

Selling agent David Leeds was unable to disclose the sale price of Kooregah, but said it was secured by a producer to complement his existing local holdings.

Both holdings have gently undulating flats, and a mix of soft red gullies and rising ridges that feed into the water catchment.

Hermidale mixed-farming property Wilga Downs was passed in at auction. Photo: Border Real Estate

Wilga Downs is largely cleared, with around 2000ha sown in the 2022 winter-cropping season, complemented by around 200ha of controlled flood-out country planted to dryland cotton.

Water is secured by seven dams which have been desilted in recent years.

Wilga Downs features a two-year-old, four-bedroom home, a circa 1900 historic and well-maintained homestead, a machinery shed, and a large workshop.

Working improvements include a high-clearance machinery shed, a workshop with concrete floor and 250t of grain storage.



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