Property

GO.FARM buys Eurambeen, Grandview in western Vic

Linda Rowley, May 3, 2024

GO.FARM has bought Eurambeen Station near Beaufort from the Dean family. Photo: Elders

AUSTRALIAN-owned agricultural investor, developer and manager GO.FARM has secured two historic properties in Victoria’s Western District for cropping.

Both properties are located west of Ballarat, the 2336ha Eurambeen Station near Beaufort and the 979ha Grandview, an aggregation of three contiguous soldier-settler blocks, near Ercildoune.

Elders agents Nick Myer and Sean Simpson were unable to disclose the price, but when Eurambeen was listed in October by the Dean family, it was offered with a $30-million plus price guide.

GO.FARM is joint venture between Liam Lenaghan, who founded the company in 2013, and Costa Asset Management, which acquired a 50 percent stake in 2015.

The company stewards 88,000ha across six portfolios in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, as well as 94,000ML of water entitlements.

Managing director Liam Lenaghan believes there is opportunity to unlock productivity and value in both properties.

“Eurambeen Station has transitioned from a blue-gum plantation to a mixed-farming property and will respond well to further investment in drainage, soil fertility, agronomy, technology and infrastructure,” Mr Lenaghan said.

Grandview will receive the same treatment.

Mr Lenaghan said the timing is perfect.

“Western District farmland values make sense again after peaking in late 2021 and early 2022, driven by low interest rates, high commodity prices and strong production years.”

Eurambeen Station

Featuring productive red and grey soil profiles, the flat to gently undulating country is suited to cropping or grazing an estimated 33,000 DSE.

With a history dating back to 1840, Eurambeen Station’s agricultural track record was disrupted in the early 2000s by a period of managed investment-scheme blue-gum plantings which have been removed.

The property is traversed by the Fiery Creek and watered by dams, bores and a 200ML irrigation licence.

Infrastructure includes an historic bluestone shearing shed, a six-stand shearing shed, steel sheep and cattle yards, and numerous sheds.

Grandview originally formed part of the Langi Kal Kal pastoral operation and has run sheep, as well as producing potatoes, pyrethrum, cereals, oilseeds, and summer fodder crops.

Eurambeen Station and Grandview are situated in a 650-700mm average annual rainfall zone and benefit from 790ML of irrigation water entitlements.

Recent comings and goings by GO.FARM

Riverina Farms

In December 2023, GO.FARM paid $120M to purchase and transform three irrigation properties near Griffith in the Riverina district of NSW into investment-grade almond orchards.

The 1388ha Riverina Farms has 4376ML of water entitlements and 1200ML of on-farm storage.

Wonga Park Aggregation

In June 2023, GO.FARM’s quality irrigation opportunity with secure water in Victoria’s Murray Valley region fell over, eight months after it was offered to the market.

When it was listed in October 2022, the 1088ha Wonga Park Aggregation was anticipated to achieve around $40M.

Offered with more than 6000ML of water entitlements, the property produces high-yielding crops including corn, barley, wheat, canola, and faba beans.

Tipped to return to the market in spring last year, the Wonga Park Aggregation was not relisted and is not featured on GO.FARM’s website.

Grain Central approached GO.FARM for comment on the aggregation but a spokesperson was not available.

Petro Station

In September 2022, GO.FARM, called time on the 26,673ha Mildura-district dryland cropping enterprise, Petro Station, with hopes of raising more than $20M.

Following an expressions-of-interest campaign, the property failed to sell.

GO.FARM has transformed Petro Station into an institutional-grade dryland cropping operation following significant investment in infrastructure, soil health and agtech to improve farm layout and operational efficiencies, and to increase yield quality and quantity.

Lake Boga

In July 2022, GO.FARM paid around $30M for the 9014ha Lake Boga farming portfolio, including 2580ha of arable country and 8000ML of water entitlements, in northern Vic’s Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.

Under GO.FARM’s management, the property has been transformed into an efficient and sustainable broadacre operation through a simplified cropping plan and adoption of modern irrigation technology.

Yarrabee Park

After developing the 11,200ha Yarrabee Park, a mixed farm 33km south-west of  Narrandera in southern NSW, into an investment-grade “grain factory”, GO.FARM sold the property in March 2022 for more than $60M.

Sandmount Farms

Sandmount Farms in Vic’s Murray Valley region boasts the largest water portfolio – more than 50,000ML – in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.

In February 2022, the 6298ha aggregation comprising more than 70 individual properties, mostly former dairys, and was offered to the market but failed to sell.

Sandmount Farms is described on the GO.FARM website as spanning 4000ha.

It is unclear what happened to the additional 2298ha.

Qantas

This week, Qantas Super and GO.FARM announced Qantas will pour $200m into GO.FARM to transform under-utilised agricultural land in the Riverina in NSW, northern Vic, and other parts of Australia into viable horticultural projects.

Already, $150M has been allocated to the Riverina Trust and Sandmount Farms to convert more than 5000ha of land with significant water holdings into production of high-yielding and water-efficient crops.

Qantas Super chief investment officer Andrew Spence said Qantas was committed to investment opportunities that delivered strong financial returns, while aligning with sustainability and responsible ownership values.

“As agriculture specialists, GO.FARM has a clear plan to drive productivity gains, responsible agricultural practices and generate returns for investors.”

GO.FARM managing director Liam Lenaghan said the Australian agriculture sector has a low correlation to other assets classes, and has historically performed well in periods of high inflation.

“It has attractive, risk-adjusted returns on land value and water, with farmland having a 20‑year compound annual growth rate of 8.5pc and water entitlements a 15-year CAGR of 6.7pc.”

 

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