11 Ha Walnuts and Truffles Farm

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11 Ha Walnuts and Truffles Farm

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The Farm

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Closest Town
Alvie VIC 3249, Australia
Size
11.0 Hectares
Farm Type
Broad Acre Cropping
Annual Rainfall
100-200mm
Farming Operation
We farm about 11 ha with 3.5 ha of walnut trees, 4 ha of oak and hazel trees for truffles, 2 ha of pasture and the rest being on the Lake Corangamite foreshore, left largely in its native state after being re-vegetated with indigenous trees and shrubs. Google us on Google Maps as Corunnaire Produce for a good view of the property. This is a small-scale farm, developed as a retirement project after Chris had a career teaching agricultural science at La Trobe University. It was designed not to require expensive infrastructure and is largely managed using a 4WD utility, two ride-on mowers and an ATV. Other than a typical machinery shed, there is a walnut processing and storage shed incorporating the walnut dryer.
Infrastructure
The farmhouse is a substantial brick veneer, 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom property and includes a registered commercial kitchen (class 3).

Future Requirements

What is the opportunity?
We anticipate a gradual transition and that the new owners would need mentoring over a considerable period (at least two years if not longer). We would also agree to help with harvests (our walnut harvest and grading is currently by hand) if that was required. We would also be amenable to prospective buyers helping with harvests and other activities prior to committing to buy if they desired, especially if they could look after the farm while we take some breaks to see family in the less busy periods.
Other Transition:
We wish to sell the farm completely (including the farmhouse) and including all assets of the farm business to someone who wishes to continue our specialised enterprises. The only exception is our truffle dog (Riley), but we would agree to continue hunting for truffles on the property as long as he can and to help train a replacement.
Accommodation Provided
). We would also agree to help with harvests (our walnut harvest and grading is currently by hand) if that was required.

Financial Projections

Is the farm currently profitable?
YES
Capital Requirements
The farm has never met its financial projections and has made a loss every year so far, although income has improved since the truffles started producing. MYOB shows that in our last year (2017/8) we had an income of $16,523, a gross profit of $8,582 against expenditure of $24,951, a loss of $17,421. We expect expenditure to be lower this year as we are no longer paying our son for truffle hunting and other farm work. Total current asset value is shown as $190,306 (excludes the farmhouse and our personal motor vehicles). There are no loans owed for the farm. Operating expenses for the farm average around $5,000 per quarter excluding major capital items. Major capital expenses which can be foreseen over the next few years include mowers, ATV and ute all of which are now over 12 years old although all are currently operational.
What markets are currently being sold to
Walnuts are sold at local markets and through selected provedores in the district. We sell at a premium price because of their high quality, and have developed a good reputation and have many repeat customers, some of whom now buy on farm. Our crop is often sold by Christmas and we have to hold back some product for particular markets later in the year. Truffles are sold directly to restaurants (particularly to Brae in Birregurra), through contacts in the truffle industry and direct to local customers. Like a number of other growers, we trialled a tourism venture of taking a truffle hunt this year which was quite successful with participants coming from as far away as Melbourne and we expect this will develop further in the future.