Productive riverfront gem

Productive riverfront gem on the Murrumbidgee

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Whether as a well-located fattening block, a fodder-growing adjunct to another enterprise, or a riverside semi-retirement haven, a just-listed Murrumbidgee River property has plenty to offer.

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Property of the week

  • LOCATION: Gundagai
  • AUCTION: March 26
  • LAND: 147ha (363ac)
  • AGENT: Sally Douglas, 0428 826 645. Nutrien Harcourts Wagga Wagga.

Whether as a well-located fattening block, a fodder-growing adjunct to another enterprise, or a riverside semi-retirement haven, a just-listed Murrumbidgee River property has plenty to offer.

Nutrien Harcourts Wagga Wagga is marketing the Gundagai property Whiteofmorn for longtime owners Trevor and Jodie Jones, who are selling in order to relocate closer to young family.

Comprising 147 hectares (363 acres) of mostly rich alluvial river flats, Whiteofmorn is a highly productive mixed farm with a history of breeding, fattening and cropping, with and without irrigation.

Situated 12 kilometres west of Gundagai and 70km from Wagga Wagga, the property boasts a one-kilometre frontage, flanked by river red gums, to the Murrumbidgee along its southern border.

From the fertile river flats that occupy most of the property, the country rises to about 30ha of higher ground fronting the Gundagai-Nangus road.

Whiteofmorn has been in the Jones family since 1958, when it was purchased by Trevor's grandfather as part of succession planning for his three sons, one of whom was Trevor's father, Roy.

Roy worked Whiteofmorn with his father until 1965, when he and his wife Mary settled on the property with their four children and built the present homestead.

They managed the property as a cattle breeding operation, typically running 130 cows which were driven each spring (like many Riverina cattle at that time) to a Snowy Mountains lease for the summer, to spell the pastures.

When Trevor and Jodie took over the property in 1999, they reduced the breeding herd as well as subdivided the river country into smaller paddocks for hay and grain production.

They also acquired a water licence, enabling them to purchase general security water on the annual market, which they used to irrigate about 10ha for fodder growing and fattening.

In 2009 the operation was further diversified when 300 Merino ewes were purchased to breed first-cross lambs for finishing, complementing the reduced Angus herd of 60 cows and calves.

This is the enterprise mix that still prevails, minus the irrigation which is no longer deployed - although the water access licence remains, which means the property still offers irrigation potential.

Just over 40ha of the river country is now farmed for fodder crop and hay, including one paddock of lucerne.

Average rainfall is 690mm and apart from its river frontage the property is watered by a well pumping to seven paddock troughs and a tank at the house.

The property is subdivided into nine main paddocks and comes with hay and machinery sheds, a two-stand shearing shed with sheep yards and steel cattle yards.

An attractive three-bedroom homestead is set in well maintained gardens with an under-cover pool and entertaining area.

There is also a separate one-bedroom guest accommodation.

The kitchen, with gas and electric fittings, has been recently refurbished and the house comes with slow combustion and gas heating, evaporative cooling, new carpets and plantation shutters.

Whiteofmorn stacks up as an ideal fattening or fodder-growing supplement to a dryland grazing property or a handy fattening/trading block with lifestyle appeal for farmers wanting to downsize.

It goes to auction in Wagga Wagga on March 26 with bidding expected on the high side of $3.5 million.

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