RFM buys Rolleston cotton holding for $18m

Liz Wells, August 28, 2018

RURAL Funds Management (RFM) has paid $18 million for Mayneland, a 2942-hectare cotton and dryland cropping property at Rolleston to expand its cotton-producing capacity in Central Queensland.

Rolleston grain and irrigated cotton property Mayneland has been sold to RFM.

Mayneland’s vendor, Max Mayne, told Grain Central the property first grew cotton in 1982, after his father encouraged him to build a ring tank for irrigation.

“We bought it 40 years ago and it’s been a labour of love to develop it, but now it’s time to do something else,” Mr Mayne said.

“It’s the best property in the Central Highlands, and we’re pleased it’s going to a good home.”

The property has 531ha of irrigation which has achieved yields of around 10 bales/ha, and comes with a water entitlement of 11,234 megalitres, of which a significant portion is unutilised.

Mayneland’s 1757ha of dryland cropping country has been reliably producing Prime Hard wheat at an average yield of around 2.5 tonnes per hectare.

Chickpeas, which have yielded around 1.2-1.8t/ha on average, and sorghum are Mayneland’s other key dryland crops.

In a statement, RFM said Mayneland’s first stage of development under new ownership was likely to be an additional 579ha of irrigated area and a 2500ML water storage.

RFM moved into cotton with the 2016 purchase of Lynora Downs, 25 kilometres south of Mayneland, and intends to appoint a lessee to operate Mayneland.

The company said Cotton JV, a joint venture between Queensland Cotton Corporation and RFM, was likely to participate in the selection process.

Wheat harvesting at Mayneland at Rolleston.

RFM will operate the property until the completion of the current cotton crop, and will pay rent on terms consistent with Cotton JV’s lease of Lynora Downs.

This will ensure continuity of income to RFF and allow sufficient time to select a lessee prior to the FY20 cotton season.

Sale settlement, which includes plant and equipment, is expected next month, and Mr Mayne and his wife, Lyn, have already relocated to the Gold Coast.

Mayneland features single frontage to the Comet River on its eastern boundary, and double frontage to Meteor Creek.

RFM’s ASX-listed arm, Rural Funds Group, has other investments in Australian orchards, poultry, vineyards, tree nuts and cattle.

RFM’s lessees include Select Harvest, Olam Orchards, and Treasury Wine Estates, which includes the Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Seppelts labels.


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