Lachlan scale hits market with AAM’s Sunshine Farms

Linda Rowley, August 21, 2023

Sunshine Farms covers 14,075ha south of the Lachlan River near Forbes. Photo: LAWD

MORE than $90 million is anticipated for irrigated and dryland cropping and grazing country with almost 15,000ML of water entitlements in the Lachlan Valley of New South Wales.

The AAM Investment Group is set to sell 14,075ha across five non-contiguous holdings, all within a 25km radius, near Forbes in the state’s Central West.

AAM stepped into mixed farming in January 2020 with the purchase of the adjoining 4820ha Sunshine and the 1643ha Round Cowal for around $16m.

Since then, it has added the 2835ha Bergen Park, 1111ha Warili and 3666ha Glencoe to the portfolio.

AAM managing director Garry Edwards said Sunshine Farms was the first strategic land and development acquisition of the AAM Diversified Agriculture Fund.

“The aggregation was foundational to the implementation of ADAF’s philosophy of diversity across supply chains and geographic locations.”

“With access to water entitlements from the Jemalong Irrigation Scheme, the properties offered potential that could be realised through management at scale and strategic capital development programs, including infrastructure improvement and change of land use,” Mr Edwards said.

The divestment of Sunshine Farms will support AAM’s continued growth and further investment in diverse agricultural assets.

The aggregation has high-quality clay loam soils that grow cotton, wheat, barley, faba beans and fodder to support beef, wool and prime lamb production.

The combined 14,766ML of water entitlements comprises 11,556ML from the Jemalong Irrigation Scheme, 2050ML from the Lachlan River and 1160ML of Upper Lachlan Alluvial groundwater.

These are supported by 300ML of on-farm storage.

Sunshine Farms is on the market to offer mixed farming at scale in the Lachlan Valley. Photo: LAWD

An extensive irrigation development program has delivered 2071ha of laser-levelled flood irrigation with potential for a further 919ha, 60ha lateral spray irrigation and 6028ha of dryland cropping, as well as a jojoba plantation and saltbush grazing.

LAWD agent Danny Thomas said AAM executed an acquisition and development plan to create scale rarely seen in the area.

“The area west of the Newell Highway has been undervalued due to lack of scale,” Mr Thomas said.

“AAM has created a large aggregation and applied precision development and management strategies to take these properties to their highest and best use.”

Mr Thomas is expecting strong buyer enquiry.

“Institutional investors are currently leading demand for Australian agricultural assets in the greater than $50m market segment.”

The structural and operational improvements include five homes, machinery and hay sheds, 2320 tonnes of combined grain storage, 360t of seed storage, fertiliser storage, a 1250 head lamb feedlot, multiple shearing sheds and sheep and cattle yards.

The Sunshine Farms Aggregation nearest cotton gins are located at Carrathool, Hillston and Trangie.

Grain receival sites are closer, at Forbes, West Wyalong and Parkes, livestock markets are at Forbes and Wagga Wagga and export abattoirs at Cootamundra, Young and Wagga Wagga.

It is available for sale via expressions of interest closing on October 5.


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