One of Australia’s largest irrigated and dryland cropping operations near Goondiwindi in southern Queensland has been offered for sale with expectations for well over $100 million.
Owned and operated by Norman Farming, the 18,028 hectare ‘‘Kalanga’’ and ‘‘Mobandilla’’ Aggregations, are located in the highly renowned Border Rivers region.
The properties have historically grown about 40,000 bales of cotton each year, consistently yielding in excess of 12 bales per hectare which is well above the industry standard.
The farms have a huge water entitlement with a maximum volumetric limit of 71,170 megalitres as well as onfarm water storages. Norman Farming was the Australian Cotton Grower of the Year in 2010.
The Norman family acquired Kalanga in 1981, and the operations have since been expanded through further acquisitions so that they now include about 5000 hectares of highly developed flood irrigation country. ‘‘It was hard to tell my son that we are selling because I want him to become a seventh generation farmer but we are not stopping farming. We will look for something new to farm once a sale is complete,’’ Mr Norman said.
‘‘The vendors have strategically acquired and developed a first-class asset of international significance,’’ Mr Thomas said. ‘‘No expense has been spared in the development of the Aggregations, which has significantly increased their productivity through expansion of land area and redevelopment of irrigation fields as well as the introduction of bankless channel irrigation and efficient water management.’’
While there have been some controversies about the water capture by farmers in the area, the Border Rivers region has seen plenty of efficiency gains in water capture and storage.
On and off-farm water schemes funded by the Commonwealth government have delivered about one-third of all the water recovered, or some 700,000 megalitres.
The Norman properties are being offered for sale on a walk in-walk out basis, inclusive of land, water licences, plant and equipment and crops.
Picture - John Norman