Agricultural investment firm Laguna Bay has agreed to sell a farmland portfolio in Victoria’s western districts to two local farming families for about $70 million.  

The Woorndoo aggregation portfolio is a dryland cropping operation that produces winter cereals, oilseed and pulse crops and spans 3,350ha across three hubs. 

The firm has aggregated the portfolio over the past five years, in addition to converting a considerable area from grazing to cropping and improving the cropping land with substantial raised bed and water development. 

“We have converted a lot of country at Woorndoo to cropping and, in doing so, significantly increased the arability of the property,” said Laguna Bay Founder and Managing Director Tim McGavin. 

“That has been reflected in the sales result we’ve been able to achieve, which has also occurred at a time of record prices for Australian farmland, which is a pleasing result for our investors. 

“We now look forward to a smooth transition to the Australian buyers and wish them well with this fantastic property.” 

The firm said reducing climate and environmental impact was a priority and focused on rehabilitation of riparian areas and soil health restoration.  

Carbon auditor Carbon Friendly has confirmed that the aggregation has a net-zero climate impact. 

The transaction was negotiated through LAWD and Elders Real Estate and is expected to settle post-harvest in the first quarter of 2022.  

The deal follows Laguna Bay’s sale of its flagship Victorian Western District cropping and livestock holding, Banongill Station, for about $80 million to a consortium of local farming families in October.  

The sale included 8,200ha of prime mixed farming land, located 8km from Skipton and a 45-minute drive from Ballarat.

Founded in 2010, Laguna Bay is a specialist food and agricultural investment firm serving institutional clients.  

The transaction comes after Rural Funds Group exchanged contracts to buy a cattle and cropping aggregation in central Queensland for about $68.8 million last week.  

The deal comprised four properties, collectively referred to as ‘Kaiuroo’, that spanned 27,879ha in total.