Property

Rimanui Farms buys Tiela for $18.5M

Liz Wells, December 14, 2021

The late Les Boland bought Tiela in the mid 1990s and his estate sold it at auction last week. Photo: Ray White Rural

THE Bullarah property Tiela sold at auction on Friday for $18.5 million to set a new benchmark for large-scale dryland cropping country west of Moree.

Under the hammer of Ray White Rural, bidding started at $10M before the property was knocked down to Rimanui Farms, a New Zealand-based company which bought into the Moree district with Boonaldoon in the 1990s.

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

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

Ray White Rural NSW agent Andrew Starr said nine bidders registered for the auction, with one each from Dalby in Queensland and Orange in NSW, while the rest had existing farming interests in north-west NSW.

The sale result equates to an average price per hectare of $6650.

“Comparing apples with apples, the sale of Tiela absolutely represents a new benchmark for the Bullarah district,” Mr Starr said.

“It’s well out in front.”

In New Zealand, Rimanui Farms has mostly livestock properties on the North Island, including the 13,843ha Lochinver Station, a counter to its cropping focus in north-west NSW.

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

“Tiela does have 560ha of grass country, so the new owners may decide to run cattle on that.”

The property has an average annual rainfall of around 525 millimetres, and Mr Starr said Rimanui Farms is expected to use it to replicate its existing cropping operation at nearby Boonaldoon.

Tiela has grown barley, chickpeas, faba beans and wheat over winter, and dryland cotton over summer, in recent decades.

Activity in region

The other large-scale cropping property to recently sell west of Moree is the Marshmead Aggregation, a 12,343ha holding at Walgett which LAWD sold last month on behalf of MH Premium Farms to two local farming families.

It is believed to have sold for around $2250/ha, with the lower rainfall of around 450mm, and less reliable seasons, being the main reason for the price difference.

Going into higher-rainfall and more reliable country, the 2831ha Merrimbla at Gurley sold last April for $7957/ha to a neighbour.

Listed with Moree Real Estate and under offer is Ron Greentree’s 19,060ha Milton Downs at Bellata.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly captioned the photograph as being of Jim rather than Les Boland.

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