New investor for dozens of former dairy farms converting to irrigated cropping

WA farmer and businessman John Nicolletti (pictured) and agent Danny Thomas bought up the northern Victorian farms.
Farm Weekly | 

New investor for dozens of former dairy farms converting to irrigated cropping

Chris McLennan
23 August 2021
A majority interest in a big portfolio of former dairy farms and grazing properties along the Murray River in northern Victoria has won new investment.
A controlling interest in the Murray River Land Trust Portfolio of about 15,000ha "owned, contracted and optioned land" near Strathmerton has been taken by a private equity firm based in Sydney, ROC Partners.
The portfolio was put together by Ulupna Pastoral Company under the direction of big profile Western Australia farmer and businessman John Nicoletti and property agent Danny Thomas.
The sale through LAWD billed the portfolio as a "transformational land use project developing former grazing land (dairy, beef and sheep) to high value irrigated cropping land".
This year's cropping program includes about 4000ha of canola and 4000 ha cereals and other crops.
"Along with taking the productive capacity of the land to its highest and best use, the proponents are also repurposing former dairy infrastructure to facilitate custom feeding for clients seeking to background and finish beef cattle and prime lambs for their branded red meat programs," sale information states.
"Fresh capital is now required to complete the next stage of this significant project, which will include circa $30 million of irrigation redesign including 10,000* megalitres of above ground water storages and the installation of lateral move and centre pivot irrigators."
Centred around Strathmerton, the portfolio also includes farm land near Finley in NSW.
A US investment company is offloading its big Australian farm portfolio through LAWD.
With farm prices reaching breath-taking records this past year, Proterra Investment Partners is selling 49 farms across south-eastern Australia.
The Corinella Group Pty Ltd of farms is scattered across more than 22,500ha but are mostly grain growing operations in western Victoria and the Wimmera.
Original source: Farm Weekly

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