A substantial aggregation of prime north-west farming country is up for grabs as its owners prepare to wind down and relocate to the Sunshine Coast after 40 years of agricultural asset building.
Rodney and Vicki Jericho have decided the time is right to sell their Merrimbla Aggregation at Moree, putting in play one of the district's top-performing broadacre farming operations.
The Jerichos started out farming on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula before moving to their present location with the purchase in 1978 of the 627 hectare property, Merriah.
Merriah was one of 10 so-called 'fat lamb' blocks resumed in the 1950s from Gurley Station for soldier settlement.
Two years later the Jerichos added the 621ha adjoining block, Kanimbla.
These were followed by the 1036ha Kilgowla in 2006 and a 546ha portion of Greendale in 2012, making up the contiguous aggregation of 2831ha (6995ac) now for sale as Merrimbla.
Merrimbla has been listed for sale by expressions of interest closing on March 26.
Situated 40 kilometres south of Moree where it fronts the Newell Highway on the east, midway between Gurley and Bellata, Merrimbla is a property of fertile grey/black to chocolate and red soils.
The country has a slight fall to the west, and water drains off the property to creeks at the northern and southern ends, where about 73ha of cleared land is available for grazing.
Described as 92 per cent arable, the property under present management is farmed in a three-year rotation growing dryland cotton as the main summer crop and wheat, barley and chickpeas in winter.
The Jerichos were among the first in the area to grow dryland cotton, planting their first crop in 1984, and over the past 20 years their yields have averaged just short of three bales a hectare (1.2 bales/ac).
Owing to the drought, no winter crops were grown last year, but falls this year so far totalling 155mm have provided hopes of a return to full production.
Average rainfall is 600mm and the property is watered by a new stock and domestic bore and 11 dams, while protected from overland flooding by boundary waterways.
The four-bedroom Merrimbla homestead started life as the modest weatherboard dwelling of the original Merriah soldier settler.
It was moved from there to its present site on the Kanimbla block in 1981 and has since undergone a series of extensions and renovations.
Set amid extensive lawns and gardens with an artificial lake, the homestead has formal lounge and dining rooms and an open-plan kitchen/living area leading to a sunroom, entertaining deck and pool.
New ducted air conditioning is complemented by two reverse-cycle split systems, while full-length windows offer spectacular views to the mountains of the Nandewar Range.
Further accommodation is available in the form of two cottages and a self-contained transportable quarters unit with three bedrooms.
Working infrastructure includes several machinery sheds, a steel grain shed with skillion office and workshop, vehicle and storage sheds, five self-emptying 120t silos, a five-stand shearing shed and steel cattle yards.
- Agent: Paul Kelly, 0428 281 428. Moree Real Estate.