Lawson Grains buys Jemalong from Optifarm

Linda Rowley, August 18, 2023

Jemalong Station features significant irrigation entitlements. Photo: LAWD

INDUSTRY sources have confirmed Lawson Grains has added the 13,498ha Lachlan Valley property Jemalong Station to its growing portfolio for around $85 million.

Earlier this year, the corporate grain farmer paid in excess of $35M for the Green Park Aggregation in NSW’s southern Riverina region.

The sale of Jemalong was handled by LAWD senior director Danny Thomas who was unable to disclose any details due to a confidentiality clause.

Grain Central understands the transaction is still subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

In March, the Dutch investment firm Optifarm listed Jemalong Station after purchasing it from the Kahlbetzer family’s Twynam Agricultural Group in 2018.

Located downstream from Forbes in the Central West of New South Wales, Jemalong grows a variety of cash and fodder crops, as well as producing beef, lamb and wool.

Close to 10,000ha has been developed for dryland cropping and perennial pastures, and 1562ha is suited to grazing.

The grey chocolate to red and sandy loams grow cotton, winter grains and oilseeds, and consistently produces 12 bales per hectare of cotton, 6 tonnes/ha of wheat and 2.5t/ha of canola.

During its five-year ownership, Optifarm made several significant investments including a 5500t grain=storage complex and six new centre pivots, with provision for six more.

The irrigation infrastructure consists of 311ha under centre pivots, 805ha of linear-move irrigation and a further 524ha of flood/border-check irrigation.

This is complemented by access to 2580ML of Upper Lachlan Alluvial groundwater and 1134ML of Lachlan River General Security Water delivered via the Jemalong Irrigation Scheme.

Other improvements include machinery sheds, a workshop, additional grain and fertiliser storage, a six-stand woolshed and livestock yards.
In January, Optifarm sold the NSW irrigated farming operation Gundaline Station to Chinese clothing manufacturer, Zhejiang Sunrise Garment Group, for more than $120M.

Like Jemalong, Gundaline was owned by the Twynam Group before being sold in 2014 to investment fund Southern Agricultural Resources, which offloaded it to Optifarm four years later for a rumoured $75m.

Optifarm still owns the 4000ha Darlington Point mixed farming property Uri Park which it purchased in 2017 from the Shaw family.


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