Salad farm forks out $3 million for 20ha bull farm

Salad farm forks out $3 million for 20ha bull farm

Beef
MOO-IVING OUT: For 60 years Parwan Park has been the centre of Australia's biggest animal breeding and genetics organisation.

MOO-IVING OUT: For 60 years Parwan Park has been the centre of Australia's biggest animal breeding and genetics organisation.

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The well-known 20ha bull farm at Bacchus Marsh in Victoria has sold for $3 million.

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The well-known 20ha bull farm at Bacchus Marsh has sold for $3 million.

The property has been the cornerstone of Australia's artificial breeding industry for more than 60 years.

Genetics Australia has sold Parwan Park to market garden neighbours Boratto Farms which will use the land to expand their vegetable production.

The Boratto family are already big players in the fresh salad leaf market.

The sale follows Genetics Australia's purchase of Total Livestock Genetics and its decision to relocate its bull management, semen management and semen collection and production services from Bacchus Marsh to the TLG site near Camperdown.

Being squeezed for space from the urban sprawl has been a cash bonanza for Genetics Australia.

The co-operative is already in the final stages of selling the nearby 125ha Parwan Park South after entering into a five-year agreement with developers for $14.625 million in 201y.

Genetics Australia chief executive Anthony Shelly said the sale of the property known locally as the "bull farm" was part of GA's acquisition of TLG and long-term plans for consolidation in south-west Victoria.

"We're very happy with the sale as it allows our plans to continue as the money will be used to invest in TLG," Mr Shelly said.

Genetics Australia will continue to have a presence on the Bacchus Marsh site. "The other positive is that we have been offered at least a two-year lease to retain access to the office complex," Mr Shelly said.

In 2014, Boratto Farms bought acquired 60ha of river flats which were part of the original Parwan Park farm.

"This was Genetics Australia's last landholding in the Bacchus Marsh area," Mr Shelly said.

"Since the land was acquired more than 60 years ago, it has been the cornerstone of the Australian artificial breeding industry so it is a significant move. However, we're doing it with a really strong plan about how we want to go forward based around the TLG acquisition."

The changes are already reaping rewards.

"Each month since the acquisition in January we have been building our semen production volumes and June was another record month," Mr Shelly said.

There are now more than 250 bulls on licensed semen production at the Camperdown and Glenormiston facilities, the largest number ever in Australia, including third party bulls managed for other customers.

"The increase reflects the volume of bulls and demand for Australian beef and dairy genetics," Mr Shelly said.

"Both dairy and beef markets are very strong, with continuing high demand for sexed semen."

Settlement on the Bacchus Marsh property at 144 Woolpack Road is due in September.

Boratto Farms plan to develop as much of the arable land as possible and continue to expand their vegetable growing operation having already made big investments in on-farm water storage and packing sheds.

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