Falls of 144mm so far this year - just 3mm short of last year's entire rainfall - have set the scene for a return to full cropping production in 2020 on the Burcher district property, Wilga-Vale.
Comprising 1483 hectares (3664ac), Wilga-Vale is a productive property situated in the tightly-held and flood-free mixed farming region to the west of Lake Cowal.
It is being sold only as a result of the unexpected death last November of its owner for more than 40 years, Col Ridley, who took over Wilga-Vale from his parents, Ian and Jean Ridley.
Ian Ridley had his own property south of Burcher, but bought Wilga-Vale in 1973 from Cecil Woods to provide for family expansion.
Col lost no time in buying an adjoining block, Iana, the same year, bringing Wilga-Vale to its present size.
The property is now being sold by the family to wind up Col Ridley's estate, and has been listed for sale by expressions of interest.
Situated 46km north of West Wyalong and 50km south-east of Condobolin (close to the former Wamboyne picnic race track), Wilga-Vale is a level property of arable red loam country timbered by kurrajong, box, pine and oak.
When Col Ridley took it over, he pursued the traditional local enterprise mix of sheep and winter cropping until 1995 when he established an 800-head cattle feedlot.
The feedlot operated for 15 years, supplying trade cattle to Woolworths and others, before labour shortages led to its closure in 2010.
Despite the feedlot's closure, the licence is still held by the property, and included in the sale.
Just under 90 per cent of the property is cultivated and since 2010 most of it has been limed, while a cropping mix of wheat, barley and canola has yielded a harvest every year, even through the drought.
Last year a barley crop on Wilga-Vale yielded 1.5 tonnes/ha, despite rainfall for the year being only one-third of normal.
And this year, with a bumper crop in view, all cropping paddocks have been sprayed to eliminate weeds and maximise soil moisture.
Average rainfall is about 450mm and the property is watered by a stock and domestic pipeline scheme feeding 10 paddock troughs, supplemented by dams and tanks.
The brick and weatherboard homestead of four bedrooms dating from around 1880 has been renovated in recent years and is air conditioned, with a modern kitchen.
It has expansive views north and south to the nearby Wamboyne and Manna mountains, and eastwards towards Lake Cowal.
Extensive farming infrastructure includes four steel machinery sheds, a 1200t bulk grain shed, 1200t of grain silo capacity and 1200t of fertiliser storage and an 80t weighbridge.
Other working improvements include under-cover steel cattle yards, a four-stand shearing shed (unequipped), aircraft hangar and airstrip.
Expressions of interest for Wilga-Vale close on April 3, with recent sales in the district indicating a bidding range on the high side of $2500/ha.
- Agent: Oscar Freeman, 0427 760 696. Miller and James Real Estate, Temora.
Sally Douglas of Landmark Harcourts in Wagga Wagga reports that contracts have exchanged for the sale of Clearview, a Tarcutta property held since the early 1980s by Bob and Nareen Schofield.
Situated in the Oberne Valley with a handy 800mm average rainfall, the 734ha Clearview is a property of undulating grazing country.
Destocked in readiness for sale, the property was previously carrying 160 breeding cows.
Improvements include a three-bedroom homestead built in 1966, two sets of cattle yards, a two-stand woolshed, vehicle and storage sheds, workshop and silo. On the market for $1.65m, Clearview was sold at an undisclosed price to the Scott family from Coolac.