Property

Warakirri buys into Geraldton zone with Yuna spread

Liz Wells, June 28, 2021

The Pawelski family has sold Gurrady Farms to Warakirri. Photo: Nutrien Harcourts

CORPORATE farming has expanded on the north-western fringe of the Australian grainbelt with Warakirri Cropping’s walk-in walk-out purchase of Gurrady Farms at Yuna in Western Australia.

Augmented and renamed Yoona Springs, it comprises 9408 arable hectares and is centred roughly 80 kilometres north-east of Geraldton.

Warakirri Cropping and Diversified Agriculture chief executive officer Adrian Goonan said Yoona Springs was an investment-grade asset with scale and a good balance of high-performing soil types..

“Warakirri Cropping has a national diversification strategy to increase risk-adjusted returns and the northern wheat zone of Western Australia has been a priority region given its low correlation to the remainder of our portfolio,” Mr Goonan said.

“We look forward to settling into the district and engaging with, and contributing to, the local community.”

Yoona Springs is the tenth Australian dryland cropping aggregation to be purchased by Warakirri Cropping, and its third in WA.

The others are the 23,000ha Mawarra in WA’s eastern wheatbelt, and the 13,600ha Lobethal east of Esperance.

Warakirri Cropping is managed by Warakirri Asset Management, which now owns and farms 120,000ha across Australia comprising country in New South Wales, southern Queensland, and north-west Victoria.

Recent corporate ownership of farmland north of Geraldton is believed to have started roughly 10 years ago when Westchester bought several thousand hectares which it leases to operators.

Improved country

Gurrady Farms listed last year with Nutrien Real Estate Bunbury with an area of 8601ha, and the offering was put together by the Pawelski family who bought the foundation farm around 50 years ago.

They have deep-ripped sandplain country and undertaken a liming program in recent years on top of the normal fertiliser program, and predominantly grow wheat and lupins, with fallow an important part of their rotation.

Grain Central understands Warakirri has bought two other Chapman Valley properties in addition to Gurrady Farms from a separate family vendor to include in the Yoona Springs aggregation, which comprises five non-contiguous blocks within 35km of each other.

 

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