360 acre beef and cropping farm NW Tasmania

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360 acre beef and cropping farm NW Tasmania

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The Farm

About


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Closest Town
Ulverstone TAS 7315, Australia
Size
360.0 Acres
Farm Type
Mixed Farming
Annual Rainfall
500mm +
Farming Operation
We presently have 200 beef cattle, mainly Angus, with 50 in-calf to our Hereford bull, grazing on river flats and slopes, and being moved every 2-5 days depending on paddock and herd size and condition. When the cattle weigh about 550 and 620 kg for cows and steers respectively they go to the JBS abattoir at Longford. The pasture is mainly perennial rye, predominantly Base 37, with clover. Silage and hay are stored for winter. We also have 20 acres of potatoes, with IrriMAX Live soil water content monitoring, which we share farm . Sixty acres of bushland, mainly Eucalyptus obliqua plus some rainforest, is left untouched and has a permanent creek running through one boundary.
Infrastructure
Irrigation infrastructure comprises new underground mains with numerous hydrant points split into two circuits. A 45 kW VSD pump provides water circulation which is drawn from a permanent spring-fed dam which can be supplemented via a transfer pump from the River Leven. We have water licenses to take both summer and winter allocations from both the dam and river, to which we have a 1.5 km frontage. Two five span pivots with end-guns are controlled via Lindsay FieldNet mobile telephone apps. Supplementary irrigation comprises two 4" X 300 metre hard hoses and a 3" X 100 metre traveller. Stock water is gravity-fed from a natural spring with emergency pumping capability from the dam. To date, only once has DPIPWE curtailed irrigation from the river, for one week in June 2016. However we are aware that climate change means we can expect increasing extremes of drought and flood. The property has had new wallaby fencing to all exposed areas and has good 2 and 3 wire electric internal fencing. Two new Gallagher energizers with remote shut-off provide power. Other infrastructure includes newly-renovated stockyards with Gallagher weigh-scales, large lockable work-shed with an adjacent hay shed, a second 7 bay hay shed, chemical shed, and another smaller outbuilding including a toilet and kitchen for workers. The farm has good gravelled laneways on the river flats, 2 houses on this property, three tractors- 105, 60 and 25 HP, two ATV's, and additional implements and attachments including square and round bale-feeders. We also own an additional 23 acre property nearby with two very good stand-alone houses. Rainfall is about 1.2 metre, and winter -predominant. The soil is ferrosol, derived from basalt, with underlying limestone.

Future Requirements

What is the opportunity?
We require that the aspiring farmer invest once mutual confidence has been achieved, with the hope that 12 months would be a suitable time-frame. We expect this investment to be a minimum of $500,000. There would be several options: investing in the farmland, the operating company running the farm, the house on a separate one-acre land title, the 23-acre block, or some combination. The farm itself is owned outright by our super fund and we would not want it to be used as security for a loan. Each of these possibilities has advantages and disadvantages to both parties. We are unsure of how we would run the initial getting-to-know-each-other phase. The simplest option would be to employ our potential farmer(s), however, we have a full-time employee to whom we have guaranteed employment till June 2020, for his peace of mind, and our finances would not stretch to employing an extra person. Other options may be available depending on the aspiring farmer(s). The two most essential skills would be high levels of proficiency in beef husbandry and associated farm infrastructure maintenance. We would want potential farmers to have had at least 5 years work experience predominantly in these areas. Experience and a strong interest in restorative and sustainable farming would be very welcome. We highly value a scientific approach to farming and so tertiary qualifications in agriculture or a related area would be very much respected. Character and personality are as important to us as practical skills. We look for resilient, tolerant, stable and hard-working people, without any drug or alcohol problems- the type of people who would not just put out our garbage bin when we forgot but would not even notice when we forgot to thank them. Of course, we do not actually have garbage collection in rural Tasmania but we are looking for salt-of-the-earth types. In addition to beef husbandry and farm infrastructure maintenance, we would welcome knowledge and experience in horticulture, restorative agriculture, and bee-keeping. Our farm is conventionally run but we are very keen to decrease chemical use and improve the sustainability of our farming and would look for such an approach in aspiring farmers.
Accommodation Provided
Accommodation options are: 1. Five km by road from the main farm we have a 23 acre block with very high standard accommodation available in the form of a new two-storey house with a 2 bedroom unit below, and above either a three bedroom unit, or alternatively a one bedroom and a two bedroom unit. There is a large connecting door if upstairs is occupied as a three bedroom unit. This block and the farm itself are about 250 m apart at the closest point. 2. At the centre of the main farm, and about 100m from the farm-house in which we live, is a three bedroom house which is in very poor repair at present, and on it’s own title of one acre. We intend to renovate this house when finances allow.

Financial Projections

Is the farm currently profitable?
In this current financial year our operating company is expected to make a loss of $182,000. This company pays a lease of $100,000 for the farm which is separately owned by our super fund of which we are sole directors. There is also a director's salary of $30,000 so the actual net loss to us this year is projected to be $52,000. In 19/20 we expect our operating company to make a loss of $60,000 meaning to us a profit of $70,000. In 20/21 we expect the operating company to make a profit of $10,000 meaning a profit to us of $140,000. The farm was in very poor condition and was purchased for land value in April 2016. It has since undergone major renovations and improvements which has delayed our breeding herd being established as quickly as we had hoped. We expect to sell 35 beasts this current financial year, 75 in 19/20, and reach the farm's expected full potential of 100 in 20/21. At present we fatten cattle for JBS as well as our own cattle.
Capital Requirements
There are no capital requirements needed for the farm itself. We aim to renovate the three bedroom house.
What markets are currently being sold to
Our cattle are sold to JBS and we also fatten JBS cattle. We are accredited with Greenhams but have not yet sold to them. Our potato contract is with Simplot who have a processing plant 20 km away. Contracts are also available with McCains. Previously we have share-farmed poppies. We have also currently leased 10 acres for garlic production to a local farmer.