TWO Central Queensland properties and one in southern Qld have changed hands recently to show that dryland and irrigated cropping country are still in hot demand.
A local producer is believed to have paid around $45 million for a large Central Queensland dryland cropping property boasting impressive credentials.
The 10,619ha Picardy Station, situated 10km east of Dysart in the Isaac region, has been held by Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund since 2017.
During its ownership, the company has transformed Picardy from a cattle-breeding and finishing property to a large-scale cropping enterprise growing sorghum in summer, chickpeas over winter and cover crops to build soil carbon in a regenerative agronomic system.
Cereals and dryland cotton could be also added to the 7819ha dryland cropping rotation.
The 2800ha balance is used for grazing, with cattle agisted along the drainage lines that are securely watered and fenced off from the cultivation area.
LAWD agents Col Medway and Simon Cudmore were unable to disclose the buyer or the price paid, but in April told Grain Central that interest was coming from institutional investors and large-scale mixed-farming groups.
“Picardy Station is located in a summer-dominant rainfall region that has a low correlation with other major grain-growing areas, meaning it would be a complementary asset to existing players building a portfolio of cropping assets,” Mr Medway said.
He described the property as boasting some of the best soil types along Australia’s east coast.
“The highly productive, deep self-mulching clays have a well above average Cation Exchange Capacity (the amount of nutrient a soil can hold) ranging from 27 to 60meq/100g.”
Mr Medway said the potential to build further soil carbon is also seen as significant.
“Increasing soil carbon is a buffer against dry periods, with even a one-percent increase in soil-organic carbon allowing country to hold an additional 150,000 litres/ha of moisture in the top 10 centimetres.”
In addition, Picardy Station has been baseline assessed in preparation for a sequestration project.
Picardy Station’s operational efficiencies include a strategic field layout, an internal road network and well-located filling points for spraying.
Described as outstanding, the infrastructure includes 5300t of grain storage, numerous sheds, cattle yards and a two-bedroom manager’s residence.
A quality southern Qld irrigation, dryland farming and grazing enterprise has sold for more than the $31M asking price.
Owned by UK-based investor Mark Robinson, the 3145ha Booberoi is situated on the Macintyre River, 22km south of Toobeah and 72km south-west of Goondiwindi.
Elders agent Henry Leonard was unable to disclose the buyer or the price paid, but said Booberoi attracted enquiry from four interested parties and would settle at the end of December.
Featuring mostly undulating coolibah, myall and belah floodplain country, the property has soft self-mulching black to chocolate soils, broken by some higher box country.
Situated in a 600mm annual average rainfall area, Booberoi is well watered by 10km of Macintyre River frontage, dams and a lagoon.
Water is also secured by NSW and Qld Macintyre River allocations, in-stream water harvesting, and a licenced overland flow.
A 5711ML certified on-farm water storage is adjacent to the Macintyre River.
Water-harvesting opportunities are maximised by access to relatively low overland flow events and the pumping infrastructure.
Around 1028ha of Booberoi has been developed to irrigation with 522ha planted to cotton.
The layout of the irrigation property lends itself to an intensive cropping program using a variety of crops that require less water and a shorter growing season.
In the past, small crops of onions and broccoli have proved a useful supplement to the cotton program.
In addition to the irrigation, there is 1005ha of grazing and support lands.
Around 955ha dryland cultivation country, boasting an excellent moisture profile, is suited to cash cropping or forage crops for backgrounding cattle.
Some of that country is also suitable for irrigation.
Andrew Keeley, Gindie, has paid $28.5M for the Mosely family’s blue-ribbon multi-enterprise asset in Qld’s Central Highlands.
Mr Keeley heads up the family-owned and operated farming and contracting enterprise, Keeley Ag, based 20km south of Emerald.
Located 16km north-west of Emerald, Kingower is an irrigation, dryland cropping and livestock enterprise spanning 3262ha of self-mulching and alluvial soils.
The well-presented property was offered by the Mosley family in March last year after more than 10 years of ownership.
After being withdrawn during the cotton-picking season, it returned to the market in April this year via an expressions-of-interest campaign.
Colliers Agribusiness agent Phillip Kelly described Kingower as a highly productive turnkey mixed-farming enterprise.
“Strong enquiry came from traditional irrigators and cotton producers, grazing and feedlot interests, as well as corporates and institutions, stretching all the way to Western Australia.”
Kingower comprises 742ha of developed irrigation country, with 580ha of that flood protected, 774ha of dryland cultivation (370ha flood protected) and 158ha of opportunity cropping.
The 1539ha balance is growing native and improved pastures for grazing and complemented by a 405SCU feedlot with pens, troughs, grain storage and a feed mill, which Mr Kelly said could be easily expanded to 1000SCU.
The property has 4709ML of secure water entitlements from various licences, supported by a significant overland flow from an upstream catchment area and 9425ML of on-farm storage.
Mr Kelly said the ability to move water around the property has been expertly considered with much of the irrigation gravity feed, ensuring a highly cost-effective production base.
“Given the nature of the property, there is a huge opportunity to further expand on the irrigation and increase the green hectares.”
Infrastructure includes two homes, staff accommodation, multiple sheds, commodity bunkers, 560t of silo storage, and steel cattle yards.
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