Serious investors in broadacre farming are running their calculators over Muttama Station, the large-scale Coonamble property that marks the latest phase of the Greentree Farming breakup.
Greentree Farming is the partnership of Ron Greentree (a former chairman of GrainCorp) and Ken Harris, which is being wound up amicably to allow the partners to pursue separate agendas.
Last year Greentree Farming sold a 10,000 hectare portion of its huge “Milton Downs”/“Boolcarrol” aggregation at Bellata to the US-based TIAA Westchester asset management group.
Now Muttama Station at Coonamble is on the block, and has been listed for sale by expressions of interest (closing November 30) by agents Moree Real Estate and Ray White Rural’s Bruce Gunning.
The listing represents one of the largest offerings of NSW broadacre farmland in recent times, coupled with a high-quality cattle feedlotting complex, giving scope for multiple income streams.
Before being acquired by the present owners in 1996, Muttama Station was held by Australian Agricultural Company through its James McLeish Estates subsidiary.
It was earlier part of the McLeish family’s huge “Sandy Camp” aggregation until hived off as a separate holding in 1957.
Under AACo ownership it was run as a sheep station, with seasonal cattle fattening, and in the 10 years leading up to its sale in 1996 its average stocking numbers were 14,300 sheep and 1300 cattle.
Situated 30 kilometres west of Coonamble, Muttama Station is a property of 12,486ha (30,852ac) comprising open to lightly timbered plains of mostly heavy black and chocolate soils, with areas to the west of lighter country.
Extensively developed since 1996 by the present owners, the property today has about 11,500ha under cultivation and managed in a winter crop rotation (currently all under barley and chickpeas).
The balance of the country, which is open to lightly timbered, is a mix of native pastures, including Mitchell grass and winter medics, and introduced Premier Digit, buffel grass, lucerne and clovers.
This supports a grazing operation that has focused on cattle backgrounding with opportunity grain-finishing using the property’s 5000-head capacity licensed feedlot.
Average rainfall is about 560mm and the property is amply watered for cattle by four capped bores feeding 16 tanks and troughs, supplemented by 30 dams and several seasonal creeks.
The main homestead is a 1960s weatherboard residence of four bedrooms with a large verandah, build-in coolroom, above-ground swimming pool and tennis court, set in established lawns and gardens.
Three cottages provide additional staff accommodation, and there is also the former shearers’ quarters comprising six bedrooms with kitchen, mess and separate ablutions block.
Working infrastructure is substantial, in keeping with the scale of the operation, and includes machinery and hay sheds and workshop, two giant grain sheds of 12,500 tonnes total capacity, 16 self-emptying silos and a 120t weighbridge.
Separate from all of that is the cattle feedlot, most of it of recent construction, comprising 22 main pens with concrete troughs, rubber-lined steel cattle yards, feed mill and storage for grain, hay and silage.
There are 41 main paddocks on Muttama with a number of smaller holding paddocks plus central laneways with good quality fencing across the property.