Farm investment company goFARM expects to reap the rewards from its multi-million upgrades of a large cropping farm on the NSW side of the Murray River from Mildura.
The company wants to sell Petro Station (26,673 hectares, 65,910 acres) near Wentworth for more than $20 million after buying the land for less than half that amount five years ago.
GoFARM was founded in late 2013 and owns or manages about 70,000ha in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, which includes around 5500 hectares of orchards.
GoFARM has deployed over $500 million in equity, with about $1 billion in assets under management and employs more than 100 people.
It sold the 11,260ha Yarrabee Park in the Riverina earlier in the year to Daybreak Cropping for an estimated $60 million . Daybreak Cropping is a joint venture between Warakirri Asset Management and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board.
GoFARM is also selling its 6298-hectare Sandmount Farms portfolio in Victoria's Murray Valley for more than $250 million..
The property is largely made up of former dairy farms, which goFARM aggregated through more than 70 individual land and water rights transactions since 2018.
Locate north of Shepparton at Katunga, the Sandmount Farms offering includes more than 50,000 megalitres of water entitlements, of which about 28,000ML of are high security.
Managing director Liam Lenaghan and Costa Asset Management founded goFARM
GoFARM says it has undertaken "significant improvements" since 2017 at Petro Station to offer, high capacity soils with excellent moisture holding capability, modern infrastructure, and a sophisticated water network.
Mr Lenaghan said the property's transformation was rolled out over a prescribed five-year program to increase scale of production and operational efficiency, in addition to converting the land from Crown lease to freehold.
It is being listed for sale by LAWD on September 12.
The farm uses almost 10,000ha for broadacre production with the remaining land dedicated to conservation.
"Petro Station is regionally renowned for its high quality red sandy loam soils and prime pine-buloke country," Mr Lenaghan said.
"We saw Petro Station as a blank canvass, an ideal platform for implementing the same best practice farming system that has revolutionised the Mallee in the past decade.
"Our focus has been on applying strategies, technologies and disciplines to enhance soil productivity, capture and utilise rainfall, and build resilience into the farming system.
"Our outstanding management team introduced farming best practices, including a no-till approach, crop diversity, a robust nutrition program, and precision agriculture technology to facilitate site-specific management practices to optimise inputs and returns."
He said Petro Station was starting to show its capacity to produce after being converted from a traditional, cultivated pasture-fallow-wheat farming program.
Petro Station is expecting to harvest 25,000 tonne to 30,000 tonne crops of lentils, chickpeas, wheat and barley this year.
Water supply has been secured via two separate sources, a licensed Stock and Domestic water entitlement with private diversion from the Darling River via a 32km pipeline.
Groundwater bore water, treated by an onsite desalination plant, offers a second source of water and is used as back up for spraying.
Water is distributed via underground pipeline and stored in 14 130,000 litre Rhino tanks.
The property also features a considered farm hub with new workshop, chemical shed and machinery and hay sheds.
Eleven 75 tonne grain silos were also added to the existing three 55 tonne silos, and a new eight-kilometre boundary fence has been erected.
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"We have invested around $2 million in hard infrastructure including, staff accommodation, modern workshop, machinery shed, hayshed, seed and fertiliser storage, water systems and fuel storage," Mr Lenaghan said.
"We have even invested more in establishing the capability and capacity to unlock the farm's productivity."
LAWD senior director Col Medway said Petro Station presented a generational opportunity to secure a highly-productive and sustainable primary production asset and was ideally suited to an existing grain enterprise looking to expand operations in an evolving region.
"With the phenomenal rise in rural property prices over the past two years, it has restricted some grain growers wanting to expand their landholdings locally," Mr Medway said.
"Petro Station has been transformed into a powerhouse for grain production and offers compelling value, compared with other key grain growing areas."
"goFARM has done an outstanding job of carrying on the legacy of the previous owners, with more than 12,000ha set aside for the protection of native flora and fauna," Mr Medway said.
"This commitment to sustainability is evident across Petro Station's farming system, soil conservation techniques, and environmental management practices, which could potentially provide an income stream in the future through carbon and ESG opportunities."
For more information contact Col Medway, on 0428 481243 or Elizabeth Doyle on 0400 102439.
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