Postmans, Mt Nombi list in stellar northern NSW season

Linda Rowley, June 3, 2024

Mount Nombi. Photo: AOF

TWO northern New South Wales properties, Postmans Aggregation north of Warialda, and Mount Nombi on the Liverpool Plains, are on the market to test values for quality mixed-farming country.

Both are enjoying an excellent season, with rain in recent days further shoring up prospects for well-established winter crops.

Also in the northern region, three unsupplemented Border Rivers irrigation allocations totalling 2058ML of Macintyre Zone water are set for auction on June 13.

Postmans Aggregation

Institutions and large local operators are expected to vie for a versatile Golden Triangle property with the ability to pivot in line with season and commodity prices.

The 3497ha Postmans Aggregation is located 39km north of Warialda and 94km north-east of Moree, on the edge of the renowned Golden Triangle region of north-west New South Wales.

Anticipated to make around $30 million, the holding has been listed by Alistair Michel, who has spent three years upgrading water and fencing infrastructure.

Mr Michel said Postmans is experiencing one of the best starts to the year.

“It is a perfect season, with barley already planted,” Mr Michel said.

“However, the aggregation offers options for planting windows due to its mix of soil types.

“There are plenty of opportunities because Postmans is suited to a mix of farming or grazing sheep and cattle, and is situated in a safe area for rainfall and temperature.”

Postmans Aggregation is located 39km north of Warialda. Photo: LAWD

The property is equally suited to cattle and sheep breeding andtrading, combined with dual-purpose crops and fodder production.

It comprises four contiguous holdings: 1303ha Postmans; 1795ha Brentwood and Yarran, and 398ha Yarran West.

Across the aggregation, 2156ha, or 62 percent, is arable, and features heavy black self-mulching to chocolate brown and red basalt soils.

The 2024 cropping program includes 1680ha of barley, 36ha oats/lucerne and 172ha of fallow. Previously, the aggregation has grown wheat, mung beans, canola, chickpeas, sorghum and cotton.

The 1224ha balance consists of 465ha of improved pastures which could be converted to cropping) and 848ha of open native grasses supporting 590 mixed breeders and 630 yearling trade cattle.

The estimated carrying capacity is 21,000 Dry Sheep Equivalents.

LAWD director George Barton described Postmans Aggregation as a versatile asset in a premium location.

“The extensive fencing and laneways, multiple secure water sources and state-of-the-art cattle handling facilities coupled with exceptional cropping land gives the owner of Postmans Aggregation the ability to pivot with the seasons.”

The aggregation is watered by three bores, 24 dams and a 200ML storage dam, supported by a 685mm annual average rainfall.

Infrastructure includes a four-bedroom home on Brentwood, a circa-1880 stone home on Postmans, two staff dwellings on Postmans and Yarran, numerous machinery sheds, four steel cattle yards, two unequipped shearing sheds and 16 grain silos with 760 tonnes of capacity.

The Postmans Aggregation is close to grain receival sites near Croppa Creek, Biniguy and Moree, livestock selling centres near Inverell, Glen Innes and Armidale, abattoirs near Inverell and Tamworth, and feedlots near Inverell, Croppa Creek and Glen Innes.

It is offered by expressions of interest closing on July 11.

Mount Nombi, NSW

A blue-ribbon mixed-farming opportunity on the fringe of the renowned Liverpool Plains in northern NSW has returned to the market with a $19.5 million price tag.

The 2842ha Mount Nombi is located 15km from Mullaley, halfway between Coonabarabran and Gunnedah.

It is being sold by the Singapore-based Silverstrand investment fund due to a change of direction, after three years of ownership.

Mount Nombi was offered to the market in September last year as part of the 4942ha Wyuna Aggregation.

Harvesting sorghum at Mount Nombi. Photo: LAWD

Following an expressions-of-interest campaign, 2100ha was carved off and sold to neighbours, with the remainder aggregated to form the new Mount Nombi landholding.

Almost half the 1400ha property is developed to dryland cropping with the mostly self-mulching basalt soils growing winter and summer crops (cereals, oilseeds, chickpeas and sorghum).

The 2024 program consists of 300ha of canola, 320ha of wheat, 200ha of barley and 100ha of chickpeas.

The balance of the country is used for cattle and sheep breeding and finishing, with the vendors currently running 737 head of mixed cattle.

Water is secured from three equipped bores, as well as a number of creeks and dams.

Infrastructure includes a five-bedroom (circa 1904) home, a two-bedroom cottage, workers accommodation, cattle and sheep yards, sheds and 2500t of grain storage.

Mount Nombi has potential for carbon offset and biodiversity pursuits and is being offered for sale as a whole or as separate assets by LAWD agents Col Medway and George Barton.

Border Rivers water auction, Qld

In Queensland, three unsupplemented Border Rivers irrigation allocations totalling 2058ML are to be auctioned by JLL Agribusiness.

Directors Clayton Smith, Chris Holgar and Geoff Warriner have been appointed to sell the three 686ML nominal volume assets, each offered with an annual 1715ML volumetric limit.

They are located within Qld’s Macintyre Zone and are being sold on a permanent-transfer basis.

A similar water auction conducted by JLL in 2021 achieved a record price of $5800 per megalitre.

The assets are anticipated to be highly sought-after by existing industry participants, such as cotton growers or fund investors, to shore up their capital investment in irrigation land and structures.

The three allocations are currently operating under the Queensland Border Rivers continuous accounting system for ease of seasonal and permanent transfers.

Mr Smith said this means they can be easily traded within the zone they sit.

“The holder can also apply to the state government to trade up or down the river, including a provision for cross-border sharing on to the NSW side.”

Mr Smith said the flexibility accommodates temporary/assignment basis, on individual flow events, or alternatively more permanent seasonal assignments.

“The allocations are also offered with healthy availability in multi-year accounts which can benefit from up to five years accrual in lieu of seasonal and river-flow fluctuations.”

Mr Holgar said irrigators will view the listing as an opportunity to accumulate more water and ensure higher reliability for their existing enterprises.

“Allocations for irrigation water are becoming a much more attractive asset due to their finite nature.

“They sit in a secure, well-structured and defined regulative system in a mature market and as a result, are emerging as an investment class in their own right.”

Whenever water licences become available, there is strong interest and even more so now the Federal Government is committed to a targeted buyback of 44.3 gigalitres of water per annum in the Murray Darling Basin.

This commitment, viewed as controversial by some, is aimed at securing water for the environment and is budgeted for the next 10 years.

The three unsupplemented Border Rivers allocations will be auctioned individually on June 13, with the purchaser of the first allocation given the option to secure the remaining lots as one line.


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