COTTON’S relentless march across the Riverina continues unabated with the significant sale, reportedly more than $9 million, of the 3416-hectare “Blackwood Park”.
While agents are remaining tightlipped about the final sale price, an era of of pulses, grains and rice cropping is coming to an end as vendor Robert Landale retires.
As part of the purchase price, the buyer – reportedly a cotton grower with holdings in both Narrabri and Queensland – has also secured significant water allocations currently attached to the holding.
There were seven expressions of interest in the property just out of Conargo and 30 kilometres north east of Deniliquin, two of which placed similar value on the place. In recent years the business has revolved around 1100 hectare rotational cropping program.
Selling agent Matt Childs, of Pat Rice and Hawkins, said the eventual sale price significantly exceeded expectations of better than $4.5 million. The Blackwood Park property has 1000ha of laser graded land, two centre pivots watering four circles covering 300ha and a large lateral move irrigator covering 420ha. The irrigation water sources include two Murrumbidgee system diversion licences, with a channel distrubution and reuse system, together with a 600 megalitre recycle dam.
The Murrumbidgee and the Murray valleys are now very significant cotton growing areas.
The property comprises noted Southern Riverina clay loams and red soils.
Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay said the purchase was another string in the Riverina’s bow as it cemented itself as a mainstream cotton growing area.
“The Murrumbidgee and the Murray valleys are now very significant cotton growing areas,” he said. Mr Kay said he felt growers in the north appreciated the reliability of the water supply in the south, being driven by snowmelt rather than the ephemeral nature of rain.
“It’s a means of speading risk. I think it’s caught the attention of a lot of growers.”
He said while growing cotton in Australia demanded high input there were high returns because of the quality of the crop.
“The CSIRO work for decades now has produced a much higher quality fibre,” he said, and the Australian crop’s reliability enabled maintenance of a forward market that was well received globally.