Tiela heads to auction to test north-west plains values

Liz Wells, November 10, 2021

Les Boland bought Tiela in the mid 1990s, and his death last month means it will be auctioned on behalf of his estate. Photo: Ray White Rural

THE auction of the Bullarah property Tiela is set to gauge the latest values for large-scale dryland cropping country west of Moree in north west New South Wales when it goes under the hammer on December 9.

Covering 2782 hectares, Tiela is 46 kilometres west of Moree, and features 2220ha of cultivated self-mulching chocolate, grey and black basalt soils.

It has been owned for 25 years by Les Boland, part of the Boland family which has been farming in the Moree district for more than 100 years.

The property has been listed with Ray White Rural Moree and Ray White Rural NSW.

Ray White Rural NSW agent Andrew Starr said Mr Boland’s unexpected passing last month means Tiela will be offered by the vendor’s estate.

“The high-yielding crops are testament to the production capabilities of Tiela which is driven by the fertile soils, and sound management,” Mr Starr said.

Tiela is being offered without stock, but has been running a herd of around 150 breeders which has generated a supplementary income from beef cattle.

Tiela has been running a herd of around 150 breeders to supplement income from 2220ha of cropping. Photo: Ray White Rural

This year 60 per cent of its cropping area was planted to wheat, and the balance to barley, under a sharefarming agreement which has been in place in recent years.

Mr Starr said 90pc of the crop had been harvested as of early this week.

“It’s large enough to be commercially viable as a standalone property, and it could work as a satellite operation for an existing farming business, or it could be a passive investment,” Mr Starr said.

“It’ll be interesting to see what it makes, because there hasn’t been a property of this size in the Bullarah district sold for some time.”

Mr Starr said inquiry into Tiela had been reasonable thus far, but harvesting in the Moree Plains Shire and surrounding districts amid storms and showers of recent weeks had probably subdued interest from the region’s farmers.

“You’d have to say a distraction has been the wet weather.”

The upside of recent rain, and more on the forecast, is that it will build subsoil moisture levels ahead of winter-crop planting next year.

Bullarah’s annual rainfall is around 525 millimetres, more than Walgett’s but less than Moree’s, and Mr Starr said it generally represented good value.

However, he was not able to put a figure on the reserve for Tiela.

With Sir Michael Hintze’s MH Premium Farms’ Marshmead at Walgett, and Ron Greentree’s 19,060ha Milton Downs at Bellata both under offer, the market may well get some price direction before auction day.

“There’s a lack of recent comparable data to give us an idea of what it might sell for, but Bullarah generally can be good value for what it is.”

Under Mr Boland’s ownership, Tiela has grown barley, chickpeas, faba beans and wheat over winter, and dryland cotton over summer.

Its water comes from a domestic bore, the Goonal Capped and Piped Bore Scheme and the Lower Gwydir Groundwater Scheme.

Water is distributed to a series of 22,000-litre tanks located across the property which allow spray rigs and a network of concrete stock troughs to be filled.

Domestic improvements include a home, cottage, combined workshop and machinery shed, hay shed and two 2 x 470t silos plus stables, cattle yards, and internal built-up earth roads.


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