Customised Farm Management has sold one of Australia’s largest irrigated farming operations, Gundaline in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation area of NSW, for around $120 million.
An unnamed international clothing manufacturer acquired the property at Carrathool, which received strong interest from local and international buyers.
Gundaline spans 14,916 hectares and features 6,000ha of flood irrigation land and access to surface and groundwater entitlements, as well as substantial water storages in excess of 17,000 megalitres.
The cotton operation on Gundaline will form part of the purchaser’s long-term strategy to provide full transparency and traceability from field to garment for their customers.
The property has undergone significant development since 2014, when CFM took over management.
CFM’s Managing Director, Andrew Parkes, said the expansion of cotton growing area was matched by increased water storage capacity.
“When we took over, Gundaline had circa 2,800 hectares of flood irrigation in relatively small fields of around 60 hectares,” Parkes said.
“Between 2014 and 2017, we developed around 3,200 hectares on a much bigger scale – between 180 and 250 hectares per paddock – which has made operations much more efficient.
“Increased water storage capacity means that both summer and winter crops can be irrigated, which helps increase the carbon that is sequestered in the soil.”
Danny Thomas and Elizabeth Doyle of LAWD handled the expression of interest sale.
“The location, property development, quality of infrastructure and water security makes Gundaline an A-Grade agricultural asset,” Thomas said.
“Demand was fuelled further by favourable global economic conditions, including current high commodity prices, and with Australia’s exchange rate at sub USD 0.70 our properties are very attractive to overseas buyers.”
Parkes said the new owners share CFM’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and supporting rural communities.
“Gundaline was one of the first properties to achieve carbon neutral accreditation for its cotton production, and the new owners are keen to continue that and ensure the carbon footprint of the property is kept under control,” he said.
“They’ve made a commitment to supporting local communities and rural life, as well as the current team of staff.”