News

A rare organic opportunity

By Riverine Herald

AN ORGANIC farm just north of Moama is expected to set an industry benchmark when it goes under the hammer next month.

Kinrara is 280ha of accredited organic farming and is believed to be the only property of its kind on the region’s market.

With demand for organic production on an exponential growth curve, at premium prices, Kinrara would complement innovations such as organic milk production.

Rodwells Ruralco’s agent Andrew Miller said the auction on February 22 will attract interest because of Kinrara’s certification through NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia), whose standard ensures organic integrity from paddock to plate.

Andrew said currently organically accredited products such as hay, grains or pulse crops are selling for double normal market rates.

He said there was also significant supply chain demand for sheep or cattle that have been organically produced.

“Kinrara will be auctioned by Rodwells Ruralco Property of Echuca at midday at the Border Inn Hotel in Meninya St, Moama, on Friday, February 22,” Andrew said.

“It has been owned by the Hehir family since 1998, but they had leased it for eight years before then,” he said.

“They completed a demanding three-year long process to secure the NASAA organic accreditation.”

Andrew said the only reason the family was selling the property was a change in their property portfolio.

He said the vendors have dairy farming interests in northern Victoria and had been using Kinrara to produce supplementary pasture products under irrigation to support their organic milk dairy production, as well as rearing young stock and wintering dairy cows.

“But they have recently secured another holding that adjoins their home farm, so Kinrara has become surplus to their needs,” Andrew said.

“And that creates an exciting opportunity for someone to acquire a fully accredited and operational organic property,” he said.

“The formalisation of organic production of both dairy products and livestock confers significant value to an accredited farm such as Kinrara.

“Also, this property is suitable for cropping and would support sheep or cattle production as it has significant infrastructure in place.”

Kinrara will be offered with the successful purchaser having the first option to purchase at market rates the significant water right of 666 megalitres of NSW general security water, which is sourced from the Moira channel which adjoins a boundary of the holding.

The water entitlement is considered double the normal district farm entitlements and resulted from the consolidation of two local property entitlements many years ago.

In addition, there is also an 8mL stock and domestic water right.

Andrew said during their ownership the vendors have developed a high capacity and high flow flood irrigation system over about 211ha – the 60ha balance was used for dryland grazing and was mostly suitable for cropping.

He said Kinrara was subdivided into 19 paddocks, all electric fenced, with an internal gravel laneway system for year-round access, enabling operational efficiency even in the wettest winters.

“The property has a 40mL turkey nest dam which can be gravity filled from the Moira channel system with all runoff from irrigation recycled back to the sumps at the dam, where it can be reused,” Andrew added.

“The vendor can completely irrigate the property in less than five days from the start of the season.

“The water resources are also used effectively with 2-inch poly pipe mains to concrete troughs in every paddock, served by an electric pressure pump,” he said.

“There are dams in 10 of the paddocks while numerous box trees were retained for stock shelter and to enhance the presentation of the farm.”

There is also a shearing shed, new cattle yards and loading ramp and buildings include an original unused homestead, with a transportable two bedroom living unit with appropriate services on the holding.

Three phase power is on the property which makes it attractive to intensely irrigated horticultural pursuits such as tomatoes or alternative tree crops.

The property is rectangular in shape with good road frontages on two boundaries.

“Strong swards of sub clover and ryegrass have been managed in the past 20 years with a small cropping area, most recently of high yield vetch that was harvested in the 2018 spring,” Andrew added.

“Lucerne has also been established on the irrigated pastures after cropping and grown as summer green feed without irrigation to supply a large flush of autumn feed following the seasonal break or after further irrigation.

“The success of the lucerne is put down to roots beyond three metres reflecting the high value of the soils under the organic regime”.

The Hehir family has typically run 300 to 450 head of dairy cattle on Kinrara over the winter and cut 2000 bales of clover dominant hay in most years.

Surveys have established the organic matter of Kinrara’s soils in the range of 3.17-4.65 per cent – approximately double that of district farms.

“I believe Kinrara will be seen as a significant opportunity by many existing farm operators as a standalone or as an add-on opportunity and am assessing the land value in the region of $1350 per acre.

“Nothing like this holding has come on to the market in this district in recent years nor is there anything of similar productivity expected to become available”.

■For more information contact Andrew Miller at Rodwells Ruralco on 0400 866 888.