Within the greater New England region, according to Elders Real Estate’s Armidale-based Frank Spilsbury, there are three discrete areas noted for their superiority of livestock production.
They are the districts of Ben Lomond and Ebor, and the country south-east of Walcha.
All three are characterised by quality soils, high rainfall and consequent high-quality pasture performance.
Given a regular program of topdressing, all are considered capable of supporting a stocking rate of one cow and calf unit per hectare.
And next month a long-held property in the first-mentioned of those “dress circle” grazing districts will go under the hammer, presenting a rare opening to discerning buyers.
The property, “Emily Park” at Ben Lomond, has been held since 1890 by three generations of the Coleman family, and is being sold now to allow for the retirement of its bachelor owner, Jim Coleman.
It has been listed for auction by Elders Real Estate Armidale and will be offered at Guyra on June 15.
Bids are expected in a range from $7500-$8750 a hectare ($3000-$3500/ac).
Situated seven kilometres from Ben Lomond village and 30km north of Guyra, “Emily Park” is a productive grazing property of 521 hectares (1289ac).
Described as undulating to hilly, with good livestock shelter (an important factor, given its 1265-1387 metre elevation), the property has rich soils of mostly red and some black basalt.
Timbered originally by white gum, sally and wattle, the property retains a light covering of shade and shelter trees.
Average rainfall ranges from 900mm to 950mm, often topping 1000mm, and the property’s 50 paddocks are watered by 73 dams and a 2.5km frontage to a permanent creek.
Pastures are a mix of palatable native grasses and introduced species including fescue, phalaris, ryegrass and clovers, most of the latter aerially sown, and topdressed every year but two since 1956.
This rich mix of pastures, fertiliser and high rainfall has supported a consistent stocking rate of 6000 DSE, split between crossbred ewes for prime lamb production and a Maine-Anjou breeding herd.
Replacement ewes have been sourced locally in recent years, but in earlier times were bought from the annual first-cross sales at Trangie.
Until a recent sale of older ewes, the property was carrying 1200 breeding ewes and 150 cows, with progeny in both cases sold generally through local saleyards.
In the 1970s and ‘80s “Emily Park” was also home to a Poll Dorset stud, which exhibited with success at New England shows as well as taking broad ribbon honours at Sydney Royal.
Stock handling infrastructure is of a high order and includes a three-stand all-steel shearing shed, three sets of sheep yards including one under cover, and steel cattle yards with weigh crate.
A feature of the property’s working infrastructure is its nine multi-purpose sheds, mostly of steel construction with concrete floors and lockable doors.
Currently used for machinery, vehicle and fodder storage, the sheds offer scope for wider uses as an adjunct to a contract machinery business or intensive animal husbandry.
The comfortable three-bedroom weatherboard homestead was built in 1953 and is well suited to a manager’s residence role.
It is set in an established garden with a range of fruit trees.