LARGE-SCALE irrigated farming operation, Gundaline Station, is back on the market with the 14,916-hectare property expected to receive offers well in excess of $100 million.
Owner Dutch investment firm Optifarm originally listed the property back in July 2020 but pulled it from the market soon after due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The company is again testing the market, listing the operation via expression of interest, with the first stage closing on November 15.
Tthe property was sold by the Kahlbetzer family’s Twynam Group in 2014 for around $25M to investment fund Southern Agricultural Resources, which sold it to Optifarm in 2018 for a rumoured $75M.
Located 65 kilometres east of Hay at Carrathool, Gundaline features over 6000ha developed to flood irrigation, with the balance comprising dryland cropping and grazing.
A further 750ha has been identified as having potential for intensive horticulture development, such as pistachios or citrus.
Water entitlements are a key feature of this operation, with secure access to both surface and bore water thanks to 12,500 megalitres (ML) of Lower Murrumbidgee Groundwater, 690ML of Low Security River Water and 2329ML of Murrumbidgee River Supplementary water.
The property also has a groundwater approved extraction limit of 18,000ML per year, 17,000ML of on-farm water storage and 20-kilometres of Murrumbidgee River frontage with four approved extraction points.
LAWD agents Danny Thomas and Elizabeth Doyle are handling the campaign.
Mr Thomas said Gundaline was widely considered as one of Australia’s largest irrigated cotton operations, although the property has a strong history of also producing winter crops.
He said the current cropping program includes a 3000ha winter crop and an expected 2750ha summer crop.
“It’s an A-grader property, with a main focus on cotton,” Mr Thomas said.
“They are one year in one year out; so that’s 3000ha of cotton in out of the 6000ha each year.”
He said durum wheat and canola were central to the winter-cropping program.
Further grazing potential
Mr Thomas said Gundaline had scope to develop further grazing land and increase the livestock capacity.
“They are running an agistment at the moment – cattle and sheep.
“There is a lot of grazing land and some of that is future development land as well.”
Mr Thomas said he expected a strong level of interest for Gundaline from a range of international institutions.
Dams and soil-moisture profiles are currently frull, commodity prices are high, and these factors as well as favourable global economic conditions will drive demand for the operation.
“Our exchange rate is plummeting towards US60 cents and so we are getting cheaper by the day for…anyone who is transacting with us in US dollars.
“This bodes really positively for us.”
Gundaline has extensive operational and structural improvements, and a full suite of operating plant and equipment will be available to prospective buyers.
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