Massive rural property sells under the hammer for $18.9M
A HIGH-QUALITY mixed farming property in the Central Highlands has sold under the hammer for $18.9 million.
The property, located at 3490 Kilcummin Diamond Downs Rd, Clermont, was auctioned before a crowd of more than 100 people on Friday at the Maraboon Tavern, Emerald.
Sales Consultant at Landmark Terry Ray said the Nicholas family had owned the property, known as Solferino, since 1965.
The property, located in the highly regarded Kilcummin farming area, covered 7147.93 hectares (17,662.91 acres) of mostly freehold country 76km north of Clermont. The area is known for its reliable seasons and high-quality farming and grazing country.
Mr Ray said there were seven registered bidders on the day, and it was one of the biggest crowds he had seen at a property auction in Emerald.
“It started at an opening bid of $14 million and then after quite a bit of competition got to the final sale price of $18.9 million,” he said.
“There was a very big crowd of both people from Clermont, where the property was located, and Emerald, as well as other interested parties, such as bankers and other agents.
“There was a lot of enquiry prior to the sale as well. There would have been about 20 or more enquiries.
“With the recent break in the season and the lift in cattle prices, people were looking to see where the new benchmark value may be, and it certainly was above the per acre price and above anything previously obtained.”
Mr Ray said Clermont grazier Ben Mulcahy, who owns the property Boolaroo, was the ultimate victor at the auction.
He said Mr Mulcahy planned to increase his production with the addition of Solferino.
“He was impressed by the quality of both the farming and grazing potential of the property,” he said.
“It was in reasonable range of his current operation and he would have been highly aware of the productive capability in such a block.
“If mother nature runs with him and he experiences seasons like this one he will have quite a bright future there.”
Mr Ray said the property had about 2240ha of developed cultivation country.
He said the property also had 2157ha of developed brigalow, gidyea, and softwood scrub country.
“It was some of the best quality mixed brigalow, gidyea, and softwood scrub country in the district,” he said.
“Its production capabilities had certainly been established over many years.
“Another major selling feature was the diversity of production in both grain and cattle fattening and its appeal and location to both cattle markets and grain depots.
“Parts of the property have also had in excess of 300mm of rain, which was a huge factor in the strong interest.”
The property featured a three-bedroom Queenslander homestead, workers home, granny flat and garage, machinery shed with a workshop, hay shed, steel portable panel cattle yards with a capacity of about 500 head, fuel storage, grain storage, liquid fertiliser complex, and silage pit.
The property had 22 paddocks, including four holding paddocks and eight cultivation paddocks. There was also an extra wide laneway system providing eight additional holding paddocks.
The carrying capacity was about 600-700 breeders or 1250 backgrounder cattle, without interfering with current farming operations.
About 1800 acres of sorghum was planted on the property last month and was included in the sale.
“He will have the right to harvest that crop when it is ready to come off,” Mr Ray said.
He said the rural market in the Central Highlands had been at a very “buoyant” level.
“There has been a lack of properties for sale and the demand has outweighed the supply,” he said.
“Rural properties are very tightly held, and it is a rare to see a property of such scope and size come up for sale.
“When a property like Solferino does come up, producers become very competitive and it shows the lack of supply.”
Buyer Mr Mulcahy will have access to the property from March 16.