Property trust buys up more farms, orchards

Chris McLennan
By Chris McLennan
Updated November 10 2021 - 5:56am, first published November 9 2021 - 9:00pm
The Pocket near Rockhampton was part of the bigger sale of five properties from the 21,900ha THF Portfolio handled by Oxley Capital Partners.

Australia's largest publicly listed agricultural property trust, the Rural Funds Group, has boosted its portfolio of cattle and cropping properties across Queensland.

The trust has advised the ASX it has exchanged contracts for the cattle, cropping properties as well as two macadamia orchards.



The trust is managed by Rural Funds Management.

The cattle and cropping properties are The Pocket (1917 hectares) bought for $13.8 million and Baamba Plains (4130ha) which has changed hands for $32 million.

The Pocket property is located near Rockhampton while Baamba Plains is near Rolleston, about 120km south-east of Emerald.

It was part of the bigger sale of five properties from the sale of the 21,900ha THF Portfolio handled by Oxley Capital Partners.

That portfolio also included Bindaree, Mostowie, Karamea and Lucie Station in central Queensland.

Included with Rural Funds Group's new properties are 20,733 megalitres of of water entitlements which the trust says are currently under utilised.

"RFM plans to utilise surplus water entitlements to improve the productivity of the properties," the trust said in a statement to the ASX this week.

"Productivity developments include expanding irrigated cropping areas and increasing cattle carrying capacity through pasture improvement.

"These developments are consistent with those implemented on other nearby natural resource assets owned by RFF.

Macadamia processing is big business in Queensland.

"The acquisitions, in conjunction with existing properties owned by RFF, also provide additional scale for prospective lessees."

RFM will initially operate The Pocket and Baamba Plains on behalf of RFF, to start property improvements before seeking lessees.

Settlement of the two properties is expected this month.

The two macadamia orchards at Beerwah and Bauple total 475ha and were bought for $63.1 million from macadamia orchards acquired from family-owned Costi Farms.

Beerwah is located on the Sunshine Coast and the Bauple orchard is near Fraser Island.

The trust said both are mature orchards which will complements its existing RFF macadamia orchard developments "enhancing their marketability to prospective lessees".

Most of those existing orchards are in the Bundaberg region.



"The orchards have potential for improved yields and expansion of planted area," the trust said.

Property trust buys up more farms, orchards

"RFM will implement orchard upgrades and operate the assets on behalf of RFF until leased.

The purchase of the orchards includes shares in Marquis Macadamias Ltd, a processing and marketing company in Brisbane (subject to Marquis Macadamias Ltd's board approval).

Settlement for the orchards is expected next month.

"The acquisitions are consistent with RFM's strategy of acquiring assets with potential for productivity improvements, in agricultural sectors in which RFM has operating experience and Australia has a comparative advantage," the trust said.



The trust owns a diversified portfolio of Australian farm assets which are leased predominantly to corporate agricultural operators.

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Chris McLennan

Chris McLennan

National Rural Property Writer

ACM national rural property writer based in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. Career journalist. Multi award winner.

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