Slowing down at Coolah

Slowing down at Coolah

Property
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Owners ready to take their downsizing a step further have listed Cloven Hills in the tightly-held Coolah area for sale.

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When Les and Narelle Landsburg decided in 2013 it was time for a more benign pastoral environment after 35 years of cow-punching in outback Queensland, the Coolah district ticked all the boxes.

Paul Rogers was then looking to relocate his Centennial Hereford stud from Coolah to the Holbrook district.

The Landsburgs seized the opportunity to buy his Cloven Hills stud property of 1954 hectares.

Three years later they were able to add the adjoining Hillsborough of 1136ha, building Cloven Hills to its impressive present-day scale of 3090ha (7636ac), with carrying capacity for 900 breeders.

All of this they have successfully managed thus far without outside help, other than for annual haymaking and spraying tasks.

This is helped by judicious investment in water reticulation and working infrastructure.

But now the owners, both of whom are in their seventies, are ready to take their downsizing a step further, and they have listed Cloven Hills for sale with the agent who sold it to them - Gavin Beard of Landmark Scone.

The property is for sale by tender, with bids to close on May 24, and represents a rare opportunity for an investor to acquire a holding of this scale in the tightly-held Coolah district.

Although the present owners have predominantly concentrated on beef cattle, mainly for ease of management, Cloven Hills is also well suited to sheep (wool or prime lambs) and cash cropping.

Situated in attractive rolling country 15 kilometres west of Coolah, Cloven Hills comprises a mix of land types, from fertile flats to semi-open grazing slopes, timbered ridges and basalt plateaus.

An estimated 800ha of the property is arable, of which about 140ha is under lucerne and 120ha is sown to winter crop.

A further 236ha is sown to an improved pasture mix of grasses and legumes.

There is also a further 230ha of country cleared and awaiting development, offering further production upside.

Under present management the property carries a breeding herd of approximately 600 Charolais-cross cows, with progeny grown and finished to domestic slaughter weights at 16-18 months.

Average rainfall ranges from 700mm to 750mm and following extensive investment by the present owners the property is superbly watered by five bores which adequately feed 60 troughs, plus 40 dams and a semi-permanent creek.

Handy rain events totalling about 100mm in March gave the pastures a timely boost.

Although more rain is needed now, the property is in good heart.

The main homestead is of weatherboard construction.

It has been recently renovated, and has four bedrooms, a formal dining-room, wood heating and a three-car garage, in an established garden with mature palms.

It is complemented by a manager's residence of five bedrooms, renovated 12 years ago.

Livestock infrastructure includes three sets of cattle yards, the main ones of steel construction and 500-plus head working capacity, a four-stand woolshed with steel sheep yards and a former bull shed.

Other structures include a machinery shed/workshop, two haysheds (of 800 large bale total capacity), four new HE sealed silos plus two older silos for total grain storage capacity of about 300 tonnes.

Properties of comparable country have sold in the district in recent times for between $3000-$3500/ha ($1200-$1400/ac).

By PETER AUSTIN.

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