De-stocked and rain-ready

De-stocked and rain-ready

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One of the larger mixed farm holdings in the Central West will go under the hammer in Dubbo next month, by which time - the vendors and selling agents hope - long-awaited rain might have fallen.

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One of the larger mixed farm holdings in the Central West will go under the hammer in Dubbo next month, by which time - the vendors and selling agents hope - long-awaited rain might have fallen.

The patchy rain events of recent weeks have largely by-passed Genaren, along with many other Central West properties, but when the rains finally come, the country should leap away.

Owners Michael and Dorothy Harrison have been de-stocking the property, which in better times has carried up to 800 Santa Gertrudis breeders, to ensure any post-rain pasture response will be immediate.

Genaren is a property of 6425 hectares (15,877ac) held and built up by the Harrisons since 2000.

It is being offered for sale now to enable them to retire.

They have listed the property for sale with Richard Gemmell of Elders Dubbo.

It will go to auction on June 7, with price expectations of around $9.5-$10 million.

A former Dubbo medico, Dr Harrison was still in practice when he and his wife bought Genaren - then a modest 3237ha - from former owners Michael and Kylie Sutherland.

The Sutherlands in turn had taken over the property in 1984 from the Williamson family (to whom Michael Sutherland was related) who had held it since 1906.

Since being acquired by the present owners, Genaren has undergone a doubling in size, with the addition of three adjoining blocks, and developed into a highly successful cattle operation.

Situated 42 kilometres west of Peak Hill, 55km south-west of Narromine and 90km from Dubbo, Genaren is in Central West mixed farming heartland, well suited to sheep, cattle and cropping.

Of the total area, 75 per cent is considered arable of which about 2600ha was previously farmed in conjunction with a Merino wool growing operation.

Estimated carrying capacity is 2.5 DSE/ha.

The present owners switched to an all-cattle breeding operation in which they ran up to 700 Santa cows, but normally about 550 cows with progeny retained and grown to feedlot entry weights.

Described as mostly level to gently undulating country with a scattering of retained shade and shelter trees, Genaren has a mix of red/brown and cracking clay soils with high moisture-holding ability.

Running through the centre of the property from north to south is a timbered range of about 700ha that incorporates a voluntary conservation area and provides useful catchment for surface run-off.

Since 2000, about 2800ha of the property has been pasture improved with establishment of winter-active grasses and legumes.

This has left a balance of native grasses, clovers and medics, regularly top dressed.

Average rainfall is 526mm and the property is watered by 58 dams including one of 60,000 cubic metres.

There is another of 30,000 cubic metres, and the semi-permanent Genaren Creek.

Working improvements include a large set of steel cattle yards to work 700 head, a second set to handle 150 head, new machinery shed, three disused shearing sheds and staff quarters.

The homestead has been expanded and updated progressively from the original one built with timber milled on the property in the late 1800s.

Flanked by wide verandahs, the four-bedroom homestead today features an open-plan, light-filled kitchen/family living area.

There is also a formal lounge, ducted air conditioning and slow-combustion heating.

By PETER AUSTIN.

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