Lawson Grains to sell premium property

Lawson Grains to sell premium property

Property
Corporate cropping entity Lawson Grains has listed its 5892 hectare property, Wayloo aggregation at Regans Ford, for sale. Photo: Macquarie Group.

Corporate cropping entity Lawson Grains has listed its 5892 hectare property, Wayloo aggregation at Regans Ford, for sale. Photo: Macquarie Group.

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One of Australia's largest corporate grain farmers, Lawson Grains, is selling its Walyoo aggregation at Regans Ford.

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ONE of Australia's largest corporate grain farmers, Lawson Grains, is selling its Walyoo aggregation at Regans Ford.

According to its website, the 5892 hectare property is one of 10 properties the company owns and one of six in Western Australia.

Lawson Grains, whose branding states that it is "redefining corporate farming", was established in 2012 and quickly acquired properties of more than 100,000ha to own and operate.

The farming entity is owned by the major investment company Macquarie Crop Partners, which is managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).

Macquarie manages about 4.7 million hectares of farmland globally, with about 4.48mha in Australia.

Agriculture makes up just one per cent of its asset portfolio.

Macquarie is believed to be Australia's eighth largest agricultural landholder

It's understood Lawson Grains is selling Walyoo as it is looking to grow its production base and sees limited opportunities to upscale at the property.

Farm Weekly understands the business is looking to redeploy this capital into areas where there is opportunity to expand existing aggregations.

Lawson Grains' WA properties span about 52,336ha and its landholdings other than Wayloo include:

St Leonards, Wongan Hills covering 5698ha;

Wongan, Wongan Hills measuring 10,770ha;

Hakea, Esperance of 12,734ha;

Gunnadoo, Jerramungup of 11,259ha and

Jerry South, Jerramungup which spans 5983ha.

It's evident the company sought properties within the Wheatbelt and South Coast with relatively high rainfall from 400 millimetres to 530mm.

Walyoo was purchased in 2014 and Lawson Grains has developed the aggregation through practices such as deep ripping, spading and applying more than 25,000 tonnes of lime, which underpinned the yearly soil testing target of a pH greater than five.

Lawson Grains has prided itself on implementing best practice and utilising technology to achieve farm sustainably.

Operating the property on full controlled traffic since it was acquired has minimised soil compaction.

From 2016 chaff decks have been used for harvest weed seed management.

The company has also installed strategically-located water infrastructure to support spraying.

The property is typically planted to wheat, barley, canola and lupins.

It also has a 672 megalitre ground water license to service two centre pivots, which have not been in use and an average annual rainfall of 530mm.

Lawson Grains' purpose statement states that it is "Australia's leading corporate grain farmer through investments in people, environments and best practice", which is what drives the business' mantra.

MIRA head of Agriculture Elizabeth O'Leary was quoted on its website outlining the company's strategy of buying, developing and farming properties.

"In our cropping business, when we acquire farmland, we aim for aggregations of 5000 to 15,000ha," Ms O'Leary said.

"Once we have acquired the necessary land, we reconfigure the farm, invest heavily in required capex to ameliorate deficiencies in the soil and implement precision farming techniques."

Ms O'Leary said all the machinery was a standard width, in multiples of 12 metres and some machines are up to 36m.

"This allows us to run efficiently using GPS guidance on permanent wheel tracks to minimise soil compaction and improve water efficiency," Ms O'Leary said.

"We also use a no-tillage farming system which means we leave the paddocks unploughed so the stubble turns back to organic matter and is reabsorbed into the earth.

"This reinvigorates the quality of the soil.

"It's big-scale, efficient, highly mechanised farming, with a high reliance on real-time data to make production decisions."

Walyoo aggregation is for sale via expressions of interest.

Ray White Rural WA principal and director Steve Vaughan has been appointed to market the property.

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