Yathonga Station picks up two Jemalong irrigation farms

Shan Goodwin
By Shan Goodwin
January 20 2022 - 12:00am
Nicholas and Charlie Le Lievre work sheep on their family wool growing operation, Yathonga Station, at Louth in north western NSW.

THE purchase of two versatile mixed irrigation farms in the heart of the Lachlan Valley was primarily about succession planning for wool growers Stuart and Gabbie Le Lievre and their family, of Yathonga Station at Louth in north western NSW.

The Jemalong properties Glenorie and Dorset comprise a combined total of 495.7 hectares of productive farming and grazing country and the sale, made by Forbes-based rural property specialists Johnston Rural Group, also included 1,250 megalitres of ground and surface water.

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The Le Lievre family run 4500 self-replacing Merinos at Yathonga when at full capacity, although the operation is currently still rebuilding after drought. They produce 20 micron wool, with ewes averaging 8 kilograms per annum.

Lucerne under irrigation at the Jemalong property Glenorie, which has just changed hands.

Mr Le Lievre said the Jemalong purchase was firstly about paving the way for three sons to be on the land.

"The only way that can happen is to diversify and be higher-producing," he said.

"Secondly, we wanted an insurance policy. In the last drought, on more than one occasion we experienced having grain we were expecting sold before it reached us and we don't ever want to find ourselves in that position again."

The expansion will mean the family can move into finishing wether lambs for the first time.

The plan is to eventually turn off between 6000 and 8000 thousand fat lambs.

"We wanted country with underground water, so we can still produce in very dry times," Mr Le Lievre said.

"The country is also well drained and those things, along with its location central to markets and southern abattoirs, is what attracted us."

Located on the western side of the Jemalong Range, the holdings are ideally situated 29 kilometres west of the historic township of Forbes and just 21km from the Newell Highway.

The non-contiguous properties were sold 'as a whole' as the result of a successful Expressions of Interest sale campaign that concluded in September last year.

Gary Johnston said the properties generated a significant level of interest with inquiry coming from local operators, graziers from western and southern parts of the state, city-based investors and corporates.

The sale price is confidential.

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Over the past five years, Johnston Rural Group have sold 22 farms in the Lachlan Valley with a

combined worth of more than $180m.

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Last year, sales included Yamminga Aggregation, Forbes - which included Yamminga, Riverview, Stirling, Fisher's Diary and the Bedgerabong Road Block.

Sam Johnston has now formally joined the rural property sales and marketing division of the family business after studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Sydney and working for three years as a sales and marketing agent for a leading rural property agent in Sydney.

Sam is a co-founder of Thank A Farmer For Your Next Meal. In recent years, he has also been named as a Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Rural Achiever and evokeAg's Future Young Leader.

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Shan Goodwin

Shan Goodwin

National Agriculture Writer - Beef

Shan Goodwin steers ACM’s national coverage of the beef industry. Shan has worked as a journalist for 30 years, the majority of that with agricultural publications. She spent many years as The Land’s North Coast reporter and has visited beef properties and stations throughout the country and overseas. She treats all breeds equally.

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