TOP-SHELF Namoi Valley cotton farm Wire Lagoon has sold for $11.375 million at auction as a vote of confidence in the cotton industry, despite a production outlook for the upcoming cropping year which is severely impacted by the drought in northern New South Wales.
Situated 32km north-west of Narrabri and 15km north-east of Wee Waa, Wire Lagoon covers 738 hectares, and includes 428ha of flood-protected irrigated fields, 146ha of dryland cropping country, 141ha of grazing and support land and an 800-megalitre storage dam.
The property was offered by sale by Andrew and Kim Revell via Landmark Harcourts Narrabri agents Paul and James Thomas, and was inspected by established cotton growers, or farmers looking to get into irrigation, mostly from the wider Gunnedah, Moree and Narrabri districts.
Three of the four registered bidders competed at the 25 July auction, and the winning bid came from an established cotton-growing family within the district.
Wire Lagoon’s Lower Namoi River regulated entitlements comprise 1458ML of General Security regulated river water, 24ML for stock and domestic use and 799ML of Supplementary B-Class water.
Agent Paul Thomas said the strong sale price reflected the value of the 611ML Lower Namoi Groundwater Trade Zone 2 entitlement.
“Groundwater is a great asset, and if a property has river and groundwater allocations, it gives you a bit more diversity.”
“In the short-term, groundwater is the only allocation that’s available.”
With zero allocation currently available for growers with licence to irrigate from the Lower Namoi River, Mr Thomas said groundwater entitlements were coming into their own.
“We’ve seen a rise in the value of river and groundwater over the past 12 months, and a significant increase for groundwater and general-security licences.”
Mr Thomas said the sale of Wire Lagoon represented the strength of the family farm as an investor in the current environment, where low interest rates and high commodity prices were helping to offset the impact of drought.
“There are some very strong farming families that can go with the corporates, and they can buy at auction.”
Improvements on Wire Lagoon include a spacious homestead, three cottages, a separate office, four-bay machinery shed, workshop, storage for 30,000 litres of fuel, and silo storage for 988 tonnes of grain.
Wire Lagoon’s layout, soft self-mulching soils and excellent water entitlements have helped to generate interest in the property, whose previous owners are moving to Alstonville in north-east NSW to grow macadamias.
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