NEIGHBOUR-to-neighbour sales of cropping country in the wider Goondiwindi and Moree districts are providing liquidity in a market which is showing surprising resilience in the face of widespread drought.
While the northern half of New South Wales, and much of southern Queensland is in the midst of its third consecutive poor winter-cropping season, Moree Real Estate (MRE) principal Paul Kelly said the region’s underlying economics remain strong.
This was evidenced by the recent sale of Welldown at Toobeah for around $3200 per arable hectare prior to its scheduled auction date of 20 June.
“To sell before auction for a figure the parties were happy with shows good confidence in solid faming country,” Mr Kelly said.
Offered by MRE on behalf of vendor Chris Lamey, the 1106-hectare holding is 30 kilometres west of Goondiwindi at Toobeah, and sold to Hamish Brett.
Hamish is the son of Charles and Fiona Brett, whose principal farm is at Bullarah, west of Moree.
They bought into the Toobeah district 13 years ago with the purchase of Minnel North, which is 16km from Welldown.
“Having land in the Toobeah district has given us a geographic diversity which has certainly worked in the past five years,” Charles Brett said.
“We either get rain up there or down here.”
Mr Brett said Toobeah’s proximity to Queensland feedlots has helped to boost grain returns now that drought has given the market a domestic focus.
“Our freight might be in the mid $20s per tonne to end-user, and you could add at least another $10 to that if you were taking it through Moree.”
“It makes us a bit more competitive in seasons like this which are really putting the focus on management.”
The 916ha Croppa Creek property Strathdoon has also sold recently to a local farmer through Moree agency North West Real Estate (NWRE).
Located in the premium Golden Triangle cropping district, Strathdoon has an annual average rainfall of 650 millimetres.
Its gently undulating country is 80 per cent black soil and 20pc red loam, and is timbered with brigalow, belah and some box.
More on offer
Sources have said corporate interest is also strong, as evidenced by Daybreak Cropping’s purchase earlier this year of Kinbeachie at Toobeah, and could translate to purchases of some of the holdings now on the market.
They include the Lamey family’s MRE-listed 2035ha home property at Toobeah, Coomonga.
“We called for expressions of interest on that, and it remains on the market,” Mr Kelly said.
“It’s now for sale for $6.25 million, and we think it’s good-value farming country.”
Expressions of interest remain open on the 4356ha Mungindi property Carnarvon, a joint CBRE and MRE listing, and the 2316ha CBRE listing, also at Mungindi, Garrawilla and Belmore.
The Buckie Station Aggregation adjoins Strathdoon in the Croppa Creek district.
It covers 5955ha and is listed with NWRE.