A LARGE dairy in the South West has been purchased by a foreign investor with the intention to utilise it for horticulture.
Dunmore, at Scott River, is an 1181 hectare dairy that was marketed at $8 million bare on behalf of vendors Robert and Di Dunnet.
The company also purchased an adjoining blue gum tree farm of 501ha which is in production and about half way through its lease.
The buyer now has full rights to harvest the trees when they see fit.
Farm Weekly understands that the buyer paid an estimated $11m for the two properties without cattle.
While the buyer could not be disclosed, it's understood not to be Aurora Dairies, which purchased four dairies in South Australia for $40.4m last month.
Aurora Dairies is managed by Warakirri and backed by Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP), which was behind the record breaking sale of Erregulla Plains, at Mingenew, earlier this year.
It was also confirmed that the buyer does not originate from Asia.
The buyer is believed to already have substantial assets in Western Australia, but Farm Weekly could not confirm in what regions or in which enterprises/ commodities.
Dunmore was for sale for about four years, suggesting the dairy market has been very subdued due to industry uncertainty and conflict between producers, processors and suppliers.
Manjimup-based Elders real estate specialist Orest Luzny said there had been a mild increase in demand for farming properties throughout the South West in what was already a very strong market.
"There has been a slight lift in demand for commercial properties with emphasis on a positive outlook for the agricultural industry," Mr Luzny said.
"There is strong demand for grazing, horticulture and tree properties from family farmers and corporate buyers."
Mr Luzny said during the COVID-19 pandemic, the lifestyle market had gained significant strength, with a rural retreat with acreage and the ability to be self-sufficient becoming more appealing to buyers.
Surge in interest for premium farm:
Owned by John and Barbara Dunnet, Milyeanup, Scott River, is a prime grazing property of 1150ha that is listed by Mr Luzny, which has been on the market for about two years.
"We have had a huge increase in interest in Milyeanup in the past three months and are expecting a sale soon," he said.
Mr Luzny confirmed there was corporate interest in the property, with most being Australian-owned businesses, as well as demand from some family farmers.
Priced at $8.9m bare, there is the option to purchase the property with cattle.
It is running about 1800 head of mostly Angus with Charolais, Angus and Murray Grey bulls.
With a 1.2 gigalitre water licence, Mr Luzny said Milyeanup would also suit horticulture pursuits and it has a history of potato production.
It is also ideal for growing bulking out grains and fodder, as well as grazing with capacity being close to current herd numbers.