Property Roundup: $200m hopes for Emerick family's QLD hort empire

16 April 2024
The Portfolio comprises 5,100ha, of which 3,100ha is developed to prime OptiSurface laser levelled irrigated cropping, including more than 400ha of organic land. Pic: Supplied.
An article by  Alex McLaughlin

Over 5000ha of farmland spanning over three of Australia’s eastern states is now available for purchase as the well-known Emerick farming family cashes out of a vision that started 75 years ago.

From humble beginnings in 1949 with a dairy farm, the Emerick family built the Mulgowie Farming Company Portfolio into 5100ha of irrigated farms located in north QLD, southeast QLD and northern NSW as well as Victoria’s Gippsland region.

It is anticipated that offers surpassing $200 million will be entertained for the entire portfolio, which is being presented to the market as a single entity.

The Mulgowie Farming Company are the largest farmers of fresh sweet corn and beans in the country, and are sizable producers of baby corn, broccoli, capsicum and pumpkin.

The company produces and packages approximately 90,000 tonnes of fresh produce each year.

The aggregation consists of the following properties:

  • The 3100ha ‘Bowen Aggregation,’ in North Queensland is comprised of 13 properties.
  • The 1200ha ‘Home Hill Aggregation’ in North Queensland is comprised of two farms.
  • The 245ha ‘Glen Innes Aggregation’ in northern NSW.
  • The 280ha of Mulgowie-based properties spread across four farms.
  • The 282ha ‘Boisdale Aggregation’ at Maffra, in Victoria’s Gippsland region.

Over half of the ‘Bowen Aggregation’ is irrigated via a sub-surface drip line. This aggregation comes with processing facilities and substantial water entitlements.

Founded in 1949 by John Emerick and his wife Dell, the ‘Mulgowie Farming Company’ started with dairy cattle in Queensland's Lockyer Valley.

The Emericks transitioned to vegetable farming in 1965, initially planting cabbages, cauliflowers, and tomatoes. They introduced sweet corn in 1981 and green beans in 1987.

In 1989, the company took a significant step by launching the ‘Mulgowie Farming Company’ brand and collaborating with contract growers. This expansion continued into Bowen in northern Queensland to ensure year-round availability of sweet corn and beans.

By 2004, ‘Mulgowie’ had ventured into growing and packaging baby corn, and by 2006, it had set up additional farming and packaging operations in Victoria’s Gippsland and later in northern NSW.

It is believed that the company is currently for sale as part of its succession planning, although comment from the family is currently unavailable.

LAWD will offer the Mulgowie Farming Company Portfolio for investment by Expression of Interest. Senior director Danny Thomas and director Elizabeth Doyle are handling the sale.


Revised price for Southern Tablelands Cattle Property

Originally purchased as two stand-alone farms, ‘Girrakool’ and ‘North Pomeroy,’ the holdings are now a single operation. Pic: Supplied.

Girrakool and North Pomeroy’ a 2,393ha livestock operation located 20km west of Goulburn is set for auction on the 23rd of April with a price guide of $28-$30m, at an estimated $11,700-$12,530 per ha.

The property has re-entered the market after it was previously listed by Expressions of Interest in February 2022, with price expectations of $33m plus, reported The Weekly Times.

Offered by Rob Rich after 22 years of ownership, the property boasts extensive water security and well-developed infrastructure in the highly sought after area, located under 2.5 hours from Sydney’s CBD.

Originally purchased as two stand-alone farms, ‘Girrakool’ and ‘North Pomeroy,’ the holdings are now one stand-alone operation with 22km of internal laneways and 52 cattle grids connecting all the paddocks.

The property has a carrying capacity of 1,800 – 2,000 cows and selling calves as weaners, or 13,000 – 15,000 merino ewes and lambs under a straight sheep breeding operation.

With an average annual rainfall of 800mm, water security is a notable feature of the holding with 10km of double frontage to Wollondilly River and a 4km double frontage to the permanent Kialla Creek.

Fertiliser and pasture improvement has been a management focus that is well documented in comprehensive soil tests and the quality of the phalaris, cocksfoot and clover pastures across the aggregation.

The productive and versatile soil types range from clay-based loams and sandy based loams, with 80% of the property pasture improved.

Developments have been made to the extensive livestock handling and operational facilities. The plant and equipment have been well maintained and is included in the sale.

‘Girrakool and North Pomeroy’ is presented as a "turn key" operation backed by a now completed major capital expenditure program.

Selling agent David Nolan of Webster Nolan Real Estate describes the property as "a hidden gem."

"A big bonus," Mr. Nolan said, "is the highly regarded ongoing management team being available." 

Accommodation includes a three-bedroom managers residence, three-bedroom ‘workman’s cottage,’ and a four-bedroom ‘owners’ cottage.’

The auction will take place on Tuesday 23rd April 2024 at auctionWORKS Rooms, 50 Margaret Street, Sydney.

The sale is being handled by David Nolan, Director of Webster Nolan Real Estate.


5260ha Northern Rivers cattle station listed for EOI with eco-tourism and gold prospects

‘Rocky River’ boasts extensive water reliability with 12km of river of permanent river frontage. Pic: Supplied

'Rocky River Station,' a 5,261ha open woodland and grazing property located 65km east of Tenterfield, is being offered by expressions of interest with estimates of $1420-$1710 per ha.

The property is being offered by the Freedom Farms Company and is registered under 16 titles.

‘Rocky River’ boasts extensive water reliability with 12km of river of permanent river frontage, 15 dams/springs as well as multiple creeks feeding to the river and a large waterfall.

In addition to the impressive average annual rainfall of 1100m, further water infrastructure has been implemented for water reliability which includes three bores and three solar pumps.

‘Rocky River Station’ comprises of 46 rotational grazing and cultivation paddocks with newly fenced boundaries.

The property operates as a breeder block with a carrying capacity of 1,000 Brahman/Angus cross cattle. The current herd of 1000 breeder cattle and 200 weaners is also available. Pic: Supplied.

The holding has ample supply of untouched millable timber upon the property’s eastern facing ridges. The timber types include Spotted Gum, Tallow Wood, Ironbark and Blackbutt.

‘Rocky River Station’ has ample additional business prospects with its large areas of uncleared timber, eco-tourism opportunities and a sum of gold being found on the property.

Selling agent Alex Gibbon, Principal of Ray White Gibbon Property Partners said there is still a rich amount of untouched gold on the property.

“Seldom do properties with multiple incomes streams hit the market,” Mr Gibbon said.

Accommodation includes three self-contained cabins, managers quarters, as well as a fully serviced caravan.

Operational infrastructure includes two machinery sheds, hay shed, large horse arena, stables and two sets of cattle yards, one of which has a 500 head cattle processing facility.

‘Rocky River Station’ expressions of interest will close on 31st of May.

Alex Gibbon of Ray White Gibbon Property Partners, is handling the sale.


2300ha parcel from ‘Wallaroi Station’ relisted for sale at $12m

Wallaroi West’, a historically significant parcel previously part of the expansive ‘Wallaroi station’, has relisted for sale.

Located 44km south-west of Condobolin and 100km north of West Wyalong, the 2300ha mixed grazing property has been listed with a price guide of $12m, with estimates of $5217/ha.

The property is owned by Peter and Lydia Allen, who have held the property for more than a decade. They are selling due to retirement.

With 10km of frontage to the permanent Wallaroi Creek, the property supports a heavy stock carrying capacity. However, it is lightly stocked with dorper sheep, with a large portion of the land leased out for cropping.

The property benefits from a stock and domestic water license, as well as an irrigation license. The average annual rainfall for the area is 456mm.

There is a stock and domestic solar pump and reticulation system providing creek water to the house, gardens and water troughs throughout the property for stock and spraying, with an additional four earth dams and rainwater tanks.

The topography consists mainly of flat river country with varied soils, ranging from sandy loam to black creek areas, adorned with Box, pine and Kurrajong.

There are about 180ha of Mallee tree line plantations established over 1800ha of the property.

An additional 130ha has been laid out for flood irrigation, with the potential for further expansion. The balance of the land has been used for cropping and grazing.

Accommodation includes a six-bedroom brick homestead, indoor BBQ area, and inground pool. There is an additional four-bedroom, two-bathroom manager's residence. Pic: Supplied

Rural property sales specialist, Craig Tyack, of ABC Property Sales, stated: “Wallaroi West is the ideal mixed farming block, with ideal red country for cropping.”

Further infrastructure includes a four-stand raised board shearing shed, steel cattle and sheep yards, horse stables, two large hay sheds, and 370t of grain storage.

Craig Tyack of ABC Property Sales is handling the sale.




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